July 8, 2023

Learn from Mmesoma/JAMB saga to uphold exam integrity, Ezekwesili urges parents, students

Learn from Mmesoma/JAMB saga to uphold exam integrity, Ezekwesili urges parents, students

Dr Oby Ezekwesili

By Biodun Busari

Former Minister of Education, Dr Oby Ezekwesili has called on students, parents and Nigerians as a whole to embrace a unified dedication that engenders examination integrity in the country.

She said this commitment from the public will serve as “a cornerstone of Nigeria’s values and reward system for our children and youth.”

Exekwesili disclosed this in reaction to the report of the committee inaugurated by Governor Charles Soludo of Anambra State to examine the saga between Mmesoma Ejikeme and the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB).

Recall that Mmesoma initially displayed 362 as her Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) score but later said it was 249 after the examination body confronted her with allegations of result forgery.

The saga attracted the attention of stakeholders including Anambra State, which submitted that the 19-year-old forged the initial result.

Reacting to the report on Saturday via a Twitter post, the ex-minister said, “I have just read the report of the Committee set up by Anambra State Government to investigate and report their independent findings on the Mmesoma and JAMB Saga. 

“I am satisfied with the process and findings of their investigation which gave Mmesoma [a] fair hearing to enable the Committee [to] gather all facts.

“It was necessary to have independent evidence that the result Mmesoma laid claim to publicly was not only fake but that the forgery was personally orchestrated by her. 

“There are usually syndicates at the centre of perpetration of exam malpractices in Nigeria but it appears not to be so in Mmesoma’s case from the facts of the Committee’s report. 

“Mmesoma’s action has consequences. I, therefore, support the sanctions imposed by JAMB as a deterrent to all who participate in the systemic exam malpractices within our educational system. 

“I also recommend sustained counselling for Mmesoma by the family, school and church to support her as she reflects on this tragic episode and makes a decision to embrace values and rewards of effort while eschewing dishonest gain for the rest of her life.

“I do hope that the lessons of this case will help all our pupils, students, parents, guardians and the public at large renew a collective commitment to uphold Exam Integrity in Nigeria as a cornerstone of Nigeria’s Values and Reward System for our children and youth. 

“I wish to thank JAMB for their good work and encourage the Registrar and his team to continue with their critical service to our country and people as we all join them to sustain raising of awareness on Exam Integrity.”