By Funmilayo Adeyemi
An NGO, Exam Ethics Marshall International (EEMI), has voted the Registrar, Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Prof. Ishaq Oloyede, as winner of the 2019 Exam Ethics Africa Leadership Impact Award.
Mr Ike Onyechere, Founding Chairman of the organisation, made this known in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday, in Abuja.
Onyechere said that the independent award committee of EEMI unanimously voted Oloyede as the winner of the award, following assessments of nominations from various African countries.
According to him, exam malpractices have become a serious challenge which calls for collective responsibility and action, in the best tradition of inter-agency and multi-stakeholder collaboration.
He said: “The award of recognition of his (Oloyede’s) outstanding performance was due to his implementing best practices in the conduct of JAMB examinations.
“His performance, which has motivated and inspired reforms in admission, teaching, examination, certification, registration and regulation processes across Africa, is also a basis for assessment.”
Onyechere added that Oloyede, with his initiatives, had effectively demonstrated that the epidemic of examination malpractices ravaging the education sector could be caged, if stakeholders in the sector could demonstrate courage and political will to confront the monster.
“The committee took special cognisance of Oloyede’s steadfastness, strong nerves, strength of character and supreme self-confidence in introducing and sustaining reform initiatives.
“This is in spite of the diversionary campaigns of misinformation being mounted by perpetrators to prevent the plugging of loopholes that had served as the facilitator of examination malpractices.
“ His insistence that only candidates with biometric verifications should be allowed to sit for JAMB examinations, for example, blocked one major loophole through which impersonators, exam mercenaries and organised exam fraud syndicates infiltrated exam halls,” he said.
The founding chairman said that the performance of the registrar had enhanced the integrity and credibility of administration, supervision and monitoring of JAMB exams, especially by engaging vice-chancellors and other top professionals as chief external examiners.
He said that Oloyede had also helped in eliminating extortion of candidates by cyber cafes and touts by making it possible for them to check their results through their mobile telephone, using the same telephone numbers that were used for registration.
“Another thing he does that earns him the award is the efforts through which the names, locations and identities of blacklisted computer-based (CBT) centres were released promptly.
“He provided timely warning to candidates to stay away from such centres. By so doing, he has shattered the usual conspiracy of secrecy that enabled the protection and recycling of rogue institutions, supervisors and invigilators indicted for aiding and abetting mass cheating.
“By working with security agencies to swiftly secure the conviction of exam fraudsters, the JAMB registrar has demonstrated that the judiciary has the capacity to deploy quick legal sanctions against exam fraud as in other parts of the world,” he maintained.
Onyechere said that the committee assessed Oloyede’s leadership impact against the background of the fact that exam malpractices were the source of pervasive and systemic corruption in all sectors of the society.
According to him, through exam malpractices, seeds of criminality are being sowed in the fertile minds of children and youths, preparing them as ready and willing recruits for corruption and equipping them with undeserved certificates and licences.
He said that the award would be presented to the JAMB registrar at the 23rd EEMI conference scheduled for between Sept. 24 and Sept. 27 in Abuja.