PERCEIVED CHALLENGES OF AUTOMATING THE UNIFIED TERTIARY MATRICULATION EXAMINATIONS IN NIGERIA
Victor Ekwukoma, PhD1 and Osamiro Emmanuel Osagiobare, PhD2
1. Educational Research Centre, Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC), Abuja
2. Department of Educational Foundations, Faculty of Education, University of Benin
The automation of the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) in 2013 has been greeted by criticisms and counter criticisms. Some have called for the system to be scrapped because of certain challenges, shortcomings and irregularities. It is against this background that this study was conducted to investigate the perceived challenges confronting this laudable innovation. The researchers adopted the descriptive survey design. A total of 720 respondents across Nigeria were sampled using stratified and multistage sampling techniques. The instrument that was used for data collection was tagged ‘Challenges of Automating UTME Questionnaire’. The instrument was validated by experts in Educational Research and Measurement and Evaluation. A test re-test procedure was used to determine the reliability of the instrument. Data collected were analysed with Chronbach’s Alpha reliability statistical technique which yielded a value of .70. Two research questions and one hypothesis were formulated for this study. The research questions were answered using frequency count and mean scores, while the hypothesis was tested using ttest statistic at .05 level of significance. The results showed that Nigerian students are ready for automated UTME, being that they have access to computers and have the basic skills required. It was further revealed that there is no significant difference in the level of readiness of public and private senior secondary school students for automated UTME in Nigeria. The study recommended among other things that JAMB’s automated UTME should be sustained but serious efforts must be made by governments at all levels to make computers available and accessible to students in all locations to enable them learn and practice computer skills.