Category Archives: Education

​Lagos State to add scrabble to schools’ curriculum

Lagos State to add scrabble to schools’ curriculum
Adetona Odukomaiya , Technical Director of the Lagos State Scrabble Association, on Friday said plans were underway to add scrabble to schools ’ curriculum in the state .

Odukomaiya told the News Agency of Nigeria that the association had been working closely with the State Ministry of Education to ensure its implementation .

“ We have introduced scrabble as a game in all schools in Lagos state . We are now adding scrabble to the schools ’ curriculum in the state .

“ We have coaches who go into the schools to train the students every day . Scrabble is all about English Language and introducing it will increase the vocabulary of the students .

“ It will also make them much more aware of English words and help them in their final result in English language in WAEC examinations and others.

“ It is also going to open up the students to the advantage of playing scrabble , such as getting scholarships , ’’ he said .

Odukomaiya described the state as the hub of scrabble in Nigeria , adding that the state was working hard to produce the next world champion .

He expressed hope that the Lagos Classic would be held later this year or in 2018 .

NAN reports that the state won the 2017 Asaph Zadok National Scrabble Championship .

NAN

How woman offered sex to JAMB Official in exchange for chance to pass her daughter 

Shocking: How mother offered to pay in kind for daughter to pass 2017 UTME – Abati

Shocking story of 2017 UTME: Mother offers to pay in kind for daughter to pass – Abati

I attended a meeting recently at the headquarters of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board in Bwari, Abuja: the post-2017 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination review meeting chaired by the JAMB registrar, Professor Ish-aq Oloyede.

Participants included Professor Oloyede and his technical team, field officers and other staff, all the Chief External Examiners who supervised the 2017 UTME, across Nigeria, mostly Vice-Chancellors of universities, and provosts/rectors of polytechnics and colleges of education, in addition to major stakeholders from civil society.

The JAMB Registrar presented a detailed report on the conduct of the 2017 UTME, matters arising were identified and the meeting took certain decisions about the way forward, the details of which have since been published. The 2017 UTME was conducted throughout Nigeria between Saturday 13th and Saturday 20th May 2017, at 140 examination centres, 642 Computer-Based Test Centres, with 7,000 invigilators and monitors and 1, 722, 236 candidates.

It was the first examination to be conducted under Professor Oloyede’s watch as JAMB Registrar. He was full of appreciation for the efforts and contributions of everyone, including the civil society and security agencies who helped to ensure the success of the examination. The meeting noted that Oloyede and his team had also done an excellent job in organizing a commendable Computer-Based Examination across the country. In recent years, JAMB has insisted on computerizing its examinations, and under Oloyede, there has been not only an emphasis on this but also on the integrity and credibility of the examination. The Report presented by the JAMB Registrar was comprehensive, confident and informative.

In 2017, JAMB examined the highest number of candidates in its forty years of existence: 1.7million, with the highest number of participating external officials and monitors. The first point the meeting noted however, was that the figure of 1.7 m does not actually reflect the true number of candidates who sat for the examination. More than 300, 000 of the candidates engaged in double or triple registration, and where it could be established that any candidate sat for the examination more than once, such a candidate was automatically disqualified. A total of 666 cases were reported in this regard.

In one centre, a mother was said to have approached the Chief Examiner to ask him to assist her daughter to pass the examination. The Chief Examiner reportedly told her to leave the examination venue, but she insisted that if the Chief Examiner was ready to help, as requested, she was prepared to pay in kind. The alarmed Professor and Examiner told her it was not part of his function to do what she wanted. The UTME, he said is a merit-based examination.

For planning purposes, the figure of 1.7 m was misleading, a fact that was worsened by the fact that more than 50% of the candidates do not even have the pre-requisite qualifications, and in reality, more than 70% of all candidates applied for courses in the Arts and Social Sciences, whereas for national manpower development purposes, the expectation is that the Sciences should produce up to 70%.

The message here is clear: higher education admission processes ought to reflect the country’s manpower needs, and there is no doubting the fact that at the moment, there is a mismatch between our country’s manpower production processes and the job market, and this is perhaps in a way responsible for the country’s unemployment crisis. As it were, Nigeria’s higher education system produces graduates that do not fit into the demands of the job market.

Oloyede was more agitated about matters of integrity, credibility, accountability and transparency. He asked the meeting to take a close look at cases of examination irregularities and malpractice and take a decision. We were informed that a total of 1, 386 candidates all properly identified and documented were guilty of the following offences: impersonation, possession of prepared answer scripts, smuggling of foreign materials into the examination venue, possession of electronic gadgets including telephone, copying and spying from foreign materials, unruly behaviour, violent conduct, collusion, multiple registration and examinations.

We were all shocked when Oloyede asked his staff to present to the meeting, concrete evidence of examination malpractice. We were shown shirts, with presumed answers written out in the inner lining, slippers, belts, handkerchiefs, and all kinds of strange devices that candidates across the country smuggled into examination centres.

It turned out that a criminal gang had developed around the UTME, involving persons who deceived candidates into believing that they had access to examination questions. Such questions with prepared answers were sold to candidates ahead of the examination. But according to JAMB, this was meaningless, because the examination questions were sent electronically to the centres only on the day of the examination, and JAMB did not use the same set of questions, at any time, either in the morning or the afternoon.

The bigger problem came from the operators of the Computer-Based Test Centres, who colluded with candidates and parents to compromise the examination. Many of these CBT centres collected gate fees, ranging from N2, 000 to N20, 000 and higher, they recruited thugs, they deliberately created technical problems to assist candidates to cheat (in some cases, the CCTVs installed by JAMB were either switched off or covered up); some centres also ran parallel communication cables to secret rooms where ghost candidates who had done what is called 8 x 2 fingerprinting, involving a candidate and a substitute, ghost-wrote the examination.

Oloyede reported that JAMB did its best to track down all the fraudulent centres, across the country, 25 centres were involved in centre-induced malpractice, with 57, 646 candidates. Some other centres had technical issues, and in total, JAMB proposed that 72 centres in 18 states of the Federation should either be delisted or suspended.

We considered the report on every affected centre on a case-by-case basis, with each Chief Examiner responding to further enquiries, and at the end, the meeting resolved that 48 centres involved in extortion and malpratices should be delisted, while 24 centres should be suspended for a year.

The statistics on 2017 UTME malpractice is noteworthy. Most of the affected states are from the South East and South South as follows: Abia (381 cases), Imo (193), Anambra (152), Enugu (114), Cross River (78), Ebonyi (48), Akwa Ibom (44) while the states with the lowest number of cases are from the North viz: Kebbi (1), Kaduna (16), Kano (29), Katsina (2), Kogi (7) Sokoto (25), Taraba (4), Zamfara (1).

Yobe and Jigawa states had no reported case of examination malpractice, only 2 cases of multiple registration from the latter. Could it be then that students and CBT operators in the North are more honest than their Southern counterparts, or perhaps less computer savvy? Does the 2017 UTME say anything about national character?

Our deliberations did not cover this particular detail, but the meeting became more exciting when the involvement of parents, particularly mothers, was reported.

In one centre, a mother was said to have approached the Chief Examiner to ask him to assist her daughter to pass the examination. The Chief Examiner reportedly told her to leave the examination venue, but she insisted that if the Chief Examiner was ready to help, as requested, she was prepared to pay in kind. The alarmed Professor and Examiner told her it was not part of his function to do what she wanted. The UTME, he said is a merit-based examination.

The woman, not giving up, asked for the hotel where the Professor was staying. She offered to join him in the hotel later in the day! In another state, an invigilator lured a young lady to the control room with the promise that if she would co-operate with him, he would help her to pass the UTME. Other invigilators caught the two of them and promptly reported the matter.

When the young lady’s mother was informed about what had happened, her response was most unusual. She was not willing to press charges, or talk about the scandal. She was in fact not bothered at all. She would rather talk about something else. What did she want? She wanted JAMB to compensate her daughter with additional 10 marks or more, to make up for the sexual harassment. We were all alarmed. Strange things really happen.

Someone then remarked that JAMB should take a decision and ban mothers from following their children to examination centres and all husbands should be advised to keep an eye on wives who will go to any length to mislead their children. Again, the meeting did not concentrate on this delicate subject. But someone made a point: “You see this thing called corruption. It starts from the home. Many parents are setting very bad examples for their children. There is too much desperation in our country. The anti-corruption campaign should start with parents.”

Nonetheless, the meeting resolved that JAMB should introduce the use of electronic jammers at examination centres as part of measures to discourage centre-induced malpractice, the results of 1,386 candidates found guilty of examination malpractice should be cancelled, 57,646 centre-induced malpractice results should also be cancelled, while a supplementary examination should be held on July 1, for candidates who lost time due to the malfunctioning of servers, technical and log out issues, Biometric Verification related issues, late registration due to no fault of theirs, incomplete results and candidates of centres with mass malpractice but who are deemed innocent.

The JAMB Registrar further informed us that the examination body was ready to go to court where necessary to prosecute persons involved in examination malpractice, and that should any manager of a CBT centre find it necessary to challenge JAMB in court, he and his team would be glad to meet such persons in court. I like Oloyede’s spirit and the enthusiasm of his freshly energized team. The larger question is why examination, something considered a serious routine in other countries, is such a nightmare in Nigeria. Students cheat, parents collude with agents to help their children to cheat, examination consultants are worse, the kind of reports we receive daily about examinations in Nigeria sound fictional but they are worrisome because they are real. It is tragic that our public examinations are no better than Nigerian elections!

Just before the meeting ended, the representative from Akwa Ibom stood up and said he had a letter for the JAMB Registrar – one of the JAMB officials who served as a Proctor in Akwa Ibom state would need to assist the police with investigations into a case of examination malpractice and give evidence in court.

“I heard about that case. I have directed that the lady should leave for Akwa Ibom and stay there until you are through with the investigations. Who is her direct supervisor?’, Oloyede asked.

One of the directors raised his hand.

“Ha. Doctor. That lady is excused from work until further notice. She should relocate to Akwa Ibom and assist with investigations. We will pay her DTA and provide whatever support she needs. Wherever there is any reported case, we must follow it up to prove that we will not tolerate any form of corruption or malpractice where our examinations are involved. The examiner from Akwa Ibom, you can keep her for as long as you want until you get to the root of the matter. Mee-ting! Approved?”

“App-ro-ved!”, we all chorused.

Students left stranded as Principals embezzle NECO exams fees

Two school principals embezzle NECO fees in Nasarawa

From Linus Oota, Lafia

Nasarawa State Commandant of the Nigerian Securities and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC), Alhaji Lawan Bashir has revealed that principals of two secondary schools in the state diverted NECO registration fees paid by students.

The commandant told newsmen in lafia that students of the affected schools are Shekkina International School in Agyaragu area of Obi LGA and GSS Wakama in Nasarawa eggon LGA.

He said the students did not realise that their fees had been diverted until the commencement of the examination.

According to the NSCDC boss, “it was after the examinations started that the candidates realised that they had not been registered, their parents promptly reported the matter to the area inspectorate office of education in the affected locations, which brought the matter to us”

He said that the affected principals were then invited to our office “we employed alternative conflict resolution mechanism and it yielded results, all the parties have agreed to the terms for the repayment of the fees to the affected candidates

“The principal of Shekkina International School has refunded more than N400,000 to 67 candidates while his GSS Wakama counterpart has agreed to pay the money before the end of June. We involved the candidates and their parents in the negotiations so as to resolve the matter without any violence that appeared imminent before we came in” he said Bashir advised members of the public to take advantage of the alternative conflict resolution mechanism of the command to report cases instead of taking laws into their hands.

He also explained that the command would deployed over 300 of their men across the state to ensure that the threats issued by Arewa youths over Igbo quits did not affect the state, adding that the command had been in touch with the various tribal associations in the state to ensure the security of all the south easterners in the state.

The NSCDC boss in the state explained that the political discourse in the state was tailored towards unity and warned the youths not to take the threats as advantage to cause trouble in the state, noting that the command is monitoring all the activities to ensure law and order is maintained.

On the incessant vandalism of streets lights and transformers in the state, the commandant explained that the command was on top of the situation as a number of youths have being arrested and would soon be charged to court.
Source: The Sun

UTME: ​JAMB cancels 59,698 results, 62,140 candidates to retake exam 

JAMB cancels 59,698 results, 62,140 candidates to retake UTME

Olaleye Aluko , Abuja

The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board has said 62 , 140 candidates will rewrite the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination after their centres were found to have engaged in malpractices .

JAMB Registrar , Prof Ishaq Oloyede , who disclosed this on Wednesday at a briefing , noted that a total of 59 , 698 UTME results were also cancelled by the board based on examination malpractices .

A breakdown of the cancelled results showed that 57 , 646 candidates wrote in centres , which were fraudulent ; 1 , 386 candidates were caught cheating , while 666 candidates did multiple registrations .

It was learnt that only the first group of 57 , 646 would be allowed to rewrite the UTME . This group would be joined by 3 , 811 candidates , who did late registration and 683 who had biometric – related issues , to make a total of 62 , 140 candidates .

Oloyede said the board had slated Saturday, July 1 , for the examination.

He said , “ The board had a meeting with the 37 chief external examiners for the 2017 UTME and other major stakeholders, and arrived at the following decisions . One , we approved the cancellation ( of the results ) of 1 , 386 candidates found culpable of examination malpractices , and the results of 666 who did multiple registrations .

“ We also cancelled the results of 57 , 646 candidates who were involved in malpractices across centres . Hence , we have rescheduled the UTME for those candidates and others who have biometric and other technical issues . We also approved Saturday, July 1 , for the rescheduled examination. The board has , moreover , suspended 24 Computer – Based Test centres for one year due to technical issues . These centres would not participate in the 2018 UTME . ”

The registrar noted that 48 centres had also been delisted from participating in the board ’ s examination in the future due to their engaging in organised examination malpractices .

“ The meeting approved the commendation of JAMB staff and other agencies involved in the UTME for their integrity , particularly where monetary inducement was given to them by some CBT centres , ” Oloyede added .
Source: The Punch

How pressure drives principals to aid exam malpractice 

WAEC indicts principals over examination malpractice

Folashade Adebayo

The West African Examinations Council has said that there is an upsurge in examination malpractice because some principals are under pressure to increase the performance of their pupils in external examinations .

The examination body , therefore , called on the All Nigerian Confederation of Principals of Secondary Schools , to “ act as a whistleblower to the council by reporting acts of examination malpractice during the WASSCE . ’’

It also said that examination centres caught engaging in examination malpractice would be delisted, while candidates would be barred from sitting for WASSCE for an unspecified number of years .

This was contained in a communiqué issued by the Nigeria Examination ’ s Committee of the council at the end of its 63 rd meeting recently .

The NEC is the highest decision -making organ of WAEC on examination- related matters in Nigeria . The communiqué was signed by the Head of Public Affairs , WAEC, Mr . Demianus Ojijeogu .

It read in part, “ The committee approved that the entire results of candidates involved in proven cases of exam malpractice, which attracted the cancellation of the entire results be cancelled while the subject results of those involved in proven cases, which attracted cancellation of subject results , be similarly cancelled . In addition , some candidates will also suffer other sanctions , such as barring them from sitting for the council ’ s examination for a certain number of years , while some examination centres will be delisted . ”

The NEC also commended the Benue State Government for issuing queries to principals indicted for aiding and abetting examination malpractice , adding that other state governments , “ should set up machinery to sanction erring supervisors and invigilators to serve as deterrent to others. ”

The committee called on government and all stakeholders to intensify the fight against exam malpractice by sanctioning reported erring supervisors and invigilators . ”
Source: The Punch 

Law school final exam: 30 per cent failure recorded as results are released 

30 percent fail law school final exam

Only 1,393 of the 2,125 candidates who sat for the last final examination of the Nigerian Law School are successful, according to the result released yesterday.

One hundred and ninety six others had conditional pass while 596 failed outright, the institution’s Director-General, Mr Olarewaju Onadeko, (SAN), said in a statement in Abuja.

A further breakdown of the results showed that candidates with pass accounted for 65.6 per cent, those with conditional Pass represented 6. 4 per cent, and those who failed were 28 per cent.

The final examination was conducted from April 22 to 28.

The August/September 2016 Law School examination recorded 17.8 per cent failure rate.

A similar examination conducted in April 2016 recorded 23.6 per cent failure rate, as 709 candidates out of 3, 056 of those who sat for that batch of the final examination, did not make the pass mark.

Potential candidates to the Bar must sit and pass the final examination by the school, while complying with other provisions of the Legal Practitioners Act to be qualified for the call to the Bar.

Onadeko said that the ‘Call to the Bar’ ceremony for the successful candidates will take place on July 13 in Abuja.
Source : The Nation

From grass to grace! ​Former pepper hawker earns PhD in Biomedical Engineering

Former pepper hawker earns PhD in Biomedical Engineering


A young Nigerian lady , Adeola Olubamiji , whose story is that of the proverbial grass – to – grace has not only done herself proud by earning a PhD in Biomedical Engineering , her story is an encouragement that where there is a will, there is a way .

Read her moving tribute on her graduation day :

“ As the fifth child of five, I always had to wait for my turn. I was the last , a girl child and raised by a mother who is a farmer and a father who has little .

“ I hawked pepper on the streets of Ibadan as early as age 10 to help my mum. Went to public primary and secondary schools in Ibadan . Attended OOU and studied Physics .

“ Because I had a 2 . 1 , it opened the door for me to proceed to Finland for a Master ’ s Degree in Biomedical Engineering . During this Master ’ s degree, I worked part- time as a cleaner and did this after my Master ’ s as well .

“ Out of determination , I applied to over 100 schools for my PhD and finally got a full three- year scholarship (later extended to four years ) at the University of Saskatchewan, Canada , to pursue a PhD in Biomedical Engineering .

“ While in that PhD programme , I worked part- time as a makeup artist , teaching assistant , braided hair and fixed weaves to make extra money.

“ Today , I walked the stage as the first black person to bag a PhD in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Saskatchewan, Canada !

“ I walked this stage for you Mama Africa and for my Motherland Nigeria ! I walked the stage for all of you Black women disrespected and looked down on !

“ I walked for all of you from my ghetto hood , Mokola , Ibadan . I walked for all OSU students and ex – students that got that look from people who think we are not brilliant !

“ I walked for all of you Africans in Finland wondering what is next for you !!

“ Specially , I walked for you my parents , siblings and extended family in fulfilment of your dreams !

“ Specially , I walked the stage for you my late sister Omoleye Olubamiji ; and my late mentor Ayodele Olatunbosun.

“ Today , I walked for my future husband and my unborn children who patiently waited for me to fulfil my dreams so that he can have a wife he will be proud of and they can have a role model to look up to .

“ I walked for all immigrants and all young adults who strived everyday chasing their dreams !

“ I walked in celebration of the unfailing love of my first and one truly true love , Jesus Christ , ( in you I walk , in you I live , and in you I have had and will continue to have my being )!

“ Be bold, be innovative , be different, be you , be everything you want to be ; but remember to put God first !

“ Let no man , upbringing , money , circumstance , colourism , past mistakes, institution , company , partner , background, let nothing tell you ‘ you can’ t do it. ’

“ Go smart ! Go hard !! Go for Gold !!! Go with God !!! Just Get Going!!!!! # Grad 2017 # PhDConvocation # UofS ”

Editor ’s Note : This post has been edited .

Adeola Olubamiji is the first black to obtain a PhD in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Saskatchewan , Canada .
Culled from The Punch