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Arewa youths reject CBT WASSCE over fear of mass failure

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Arewa youths said CBT exams should have been optional

The Arewa Youth Consultative Forum has called for the cancellation of the proposed computer-based test (CBT) format in the forthcoming West African Senior School Certificate Examinations (WASSCE) in Nigeria.

According to the forum, such a mode of examination, if allowed, will result in mass failure for students, particularly in rural areas of northern states where computer skills are scarce or completely absent.

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The National President of AYCF, Yerima Shettima, in a statement released in Kaduna on Friday, asserted that the CBT exams should have been optional, allowing candidates to choose between the traditional pen-and-paper format and the computer-based approach.

This, he argued, would have allowed students to opt for the format they were most comfortable with and capable of attempting successfully.

Shettima added that studies carried out by the Forum in a few northern states, including Zamfara, Jigawa, Taraba, Adamawa, Nasarawa, and Plateau, showed that the CBT exams had consistently resulted in high failure rates among students attending public schools, where computer skills were frequently not taught.

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He stated, “Even the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board CBT exams have placed underprivileged students in a predicament as they struggle to answer questions in a format they are unfamiliar with.

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“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 Additionally, a lack of proper and adequate computer skills, coupled with outdated desktop computers that are not properly maintained by CBT centres, further exacerbates the situation.”

He noted that the call became imperative to prevent a massive failure rate among students who deserved fair and equal opportunities for success.

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