The Arewa Youth Consultative Forum has strongly advocated for the cancellation of the proposed Computer-Based Test format in the upcoming West African Examinations Council (WAEC) exams in Nigeria.
They emphasized that this mode could potentially result in widespread failure, especially among students in rural areas lacking adequate computer skills.
WAEC had previously announced its shift from the traditional paper and pencil test to Computer-Based Testing for the Senior School Certificate Examination, citing alignment with global standards. Moyosola Adesina, the acting head of the Public Affairs Unit of WAEC, conveyed this decision.
The National President of AYCF, Yerima Shettima, argued in a statement from Kaduna that the CBT exams should have been optional, giving candidates the choice between the traditional method and the computer-based approach. Shettima highlighted that research in northern states like Zamfara, Jigawa, Taraba, Adamawa, Nasarawa, and Plateau indicated high failure rates due to limited computer education in public schools, making the CBT format challenging for many students.
He said, “Even the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board – CBT exam has placed underprivileged students in a predicament as they struggle to answer questions in an unfamiliar format.
“Many students who failed the CBT-based JAMB exams last year argued that their failures were a result of systemic failures, including insufficient facilities or network failures during the exams.
“Additionally, a lack of proper and adequate computer skills, coupled with outdated desktop computers that are not properly maintained by CBT centres, further exacerbated the situation.
“As the exams are timed, these delays significantly hinder the performance of students who otherwise possess sufficient knowledge of the content.”
He, therefore, called on the Ministry of Education, Jama’atu Nasril Islam, Christian Association of Nigeria, National Association of Nigerian Students and other relevant Civil Society Organisations to unite and reject the planned CBT exams.
He noted that the call became imperative to prevent a massive failure rate among students who deserved fair and equal opportunities for success.
“The AYCF remains committed to promoting quality education, equitable examination processes, and the overall advancement of education in Nigeria. We stand ready to work collaboratively with all stakeholders to find suitable alternatives that ensure a level playing field for all students,” he added.