Prof Ishaq Oloyede is registrar/CEO of Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board [JAMB], a position he ascended in August 2016. An educationist of great repute, grieved by the falling standard of education in Nigeria, is capitalizing on the opportunity of his appointment to carry out sweeping reforms in the organisation and its procedures. He is on a mission to give a facelift to how the board runs and consequently restoring sanity and integrity in the educational system.
Oloyede has a watch word that properly defines his focus. “We will continue to ensure that with education, one can achieve everything and without it, one can achieve nothing”, he said. This is interpreted to mean that the system of selecting candidates for admission into the nation’s tertiary institutions of learning is set to regain credibility once again.
The resolution of a committee of vice chancellors in 2007 to conduct a post university matriculation examination as a second stage screening of applicants for university admissions was an apparent vote of no confidence on JAMB. Oloyede is taking bold steps so far to win back a vote of confidence for the examination board and for the nation.
Innovation is beginning to sweep through the operations of the institution and its conduct of examinations. The outcomes seem to affirm that solutions to challenges facing societies and nations aren’t that farfetched only that men aren’t standing up to make a change. For the first time ever, JAMB examination centres have been equipped with computers and CCTV cameras as an effective therapy to any form of examination malpractices within and outside the centres.
How to redirect the Nigerian children and youth from corner cutting ways of passing their exams back to painstaking academic hard work has been a big problem for the nation. Oloyode’s big bang reforms at JAMB are raising new hopes in this direction. With CCTV camera in the exam hall, a general return to the use of the brain seems to be the only way forward. Even where an exam cheating isn’t discovered in the hall, it will certainly be discovered by the camera.
Education is considered a major frontier for redirecting the nation’s value system and Oloyede has vowed that there isn’t going to be any compromise whatsoever as long as he is in charge. He is charting a new course to enthrone quality, equity and integrity, which he is calling everyone to follow. “It, therefore, goes to tell that each one of us must strive to achieve what is good, giving the significance of life and living” he said.
An equally innovative step is the mock Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination [UTME] conducted for those who were taking the computer based test examinations for the first time. That helped candidates to experience the environment for the main examination but more importantly enabled the board to test the new approaches and address any shortcomings.
Oloyede is aware that the availability of technological devices has aided examination malpractices to an alarming proportion. Even so, he is following the path of technology to find a solution to the problem. “…in our own case, as these children are getting wiser, we too are getting ahead of them”, he said.
The innovative changes that Oloyede has made at JAMB have raised confidence vote for the institution. A wide view considers his reforms as far reaching and capable of rebuilding credibility in the system and its processes. By restoring a system that enthrones merit, the JAMB boss is leading the way back to hard work, improvement in the educational standard and recovery of the nation’s lost value system.
For the revolutionary changes Oloyede has made in JAMB, which are rebuilding confidence and credibility in the organization within the short time of his appointment, he is recognised by Top 10 Magazinl2e as one of the top 10 CEOs of the year, 2017.