The News making rounds that the just-concluded Police recruitment Computer Based Test (CBT) conducted by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) made Arabic Language compulsory is false as successful candidates, who did not answer the Arabic questions, tell ETN24 that clear instructions to only answer English Language question were given and understood.
JAMB already has a template for exams and this template, known all over the Nation, has space for 4 subjects. The aspiring Police recruits needed to write a CBT on just English Language, so the first 3 subjects on JAMB’s list was added to English to make the template complete, but candidates were told repeatedly that they are only to answer the English questions and ignore the rest which just so happens to be Agriculture, Arabic, and Arts, because subjects appear in alphabetical order.
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) however still thinks candidates were told to answer Arabic questions despite repeated announcements and the fact that the examination was set for 45 minutes.
CAN quickly demanded the recruitment CBT be canceled, with evidence shown to it and a new date fixed within 72hours of its notice, threatening to seek alternative measures should the Presidency fail to do as demanded.
“If the President can allow this affront now and he is still seeking the vote of Christians for a second term, we do not trust he will keep us alive if he ascends that throne for another four years.
“To many Christian youths who sat for that examination, the display of the Arabic language questions came as a rude shock. Many could not recover from the setback until JAMB logged them out of the CBT platform, obviously achieving the aim of the Islamic extremists who are hell bent on fostering their religion and culture on the Nigeria Police Force.
“This deliberate attempt to undermine Christians in Nigeria leaves so many questions as to the unity of the Nation”. CAN says, leaving the question of why its complaint is directed at the President, who is not directly in charge of the CBT exams, unanswered.
JAMB clears the air
According to JAMB’s Head of Media, Dr. Fabian Benjamin, the statements are “malicious” and “misleading”. He affirmed that candidates were examined only in the English Language.
“The instructions were clearly stated and announcements were made several times to the effect that candidates were to answer only English Language.
“We generally examined candidates using modules that are already configured in the computer for four subjects and the Police examination was for only one subject to be written within 45 minutes.
“In doing this, we had to add three other dummy subjects picked from our Dummy One, which has basically “A” subjects of Arts, Arabic and Agriculture and we then added English Language, which is the subject of assessment.
“Instructions were clearly written and also announced that candidates should answer only English language. Mind you, the examination is for 45 minutes. It would not be possible to examine candidates in four subjects for 45 minutes.
Dr. Benjamin related the need to add other subjects as dummies to the impossibility of uploading only English Language, as JAMB software is designed to take four subjects.
While expressing JAMB’s sensitivity to candidates’ belief, Dr. Benjamin iterated that the Board never impose subjects on candidates, not even in its Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME), coupled with the Police directives to test candidates on English Language only, which was strictly adhered to.
Dr. Benjamin postulated that it was impossible for candidates to answer all the questions in the module within 45 minutes and said the Police recruitment CBT was 60 English Language questions in 45 minutes.
The Chairman of the Police Service Commission, Mike Okiro, and JAMB Registrar, Ishaq Oloyede have also debunked the reports, corroborating Dr. Benjamin’s statement on candidates being tested on English Language only for 45 minutes.
According to the statement signed by Okiro and Oloyede, JAMB’s customized platform contains skeletons of other 22 subjects it offers.
“On completion of the 45 minutes test, any candidates who rolled down would come across subjects listed in alphabetical order of the 23 subjects with the first 3 being Agriculture, Arabic and Arts”.
ETN24 spoke with successful candidates and they confirmed that there were strict instructions to only answer the English Language questions. They told this media house that the announcement was made severally and they did not seem to know any of their colleague who got the instruction wrong.
Speaking further with other Nigerians, ETN24 could gather that in the Post UME Examination, specifically as conducted by the University of Benin, Christian Religious Knowledge is compulsory on all art students; Muslims or Christians.
The Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) almost never agitates in the manner CAN does.