Amid controversy over the ongoing Computer Based Test for teacher’s recruitment in Oyo State, the consulting firm handling the project, Education Advancement Centre (EAC) has clarified that the initiative was aimed at selecting the best hands for teaching appointment in the state.
The Chief Strategic Officer, EAC, Muyiwa Bamgbose who stated this during the inspection of the teachers recruitment test said the CBT was not meant to “Christianise” the state as alleged by MURIC.
At the end of a meeting between MURIC, the state Teaching Service Commission (TESCOM) and the consulting firm, Bamgbose said: “I am happy that MURIC is convinced that there is no hidden agenda at all. The main objective of this assessment is to get the best hands to teach students in the state.
“I remembered an illustration given by Prof. Ishaq Oloyede of the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) that if you have a medical case and a qualified Christian surgeon comes and you are a Muslim patient, would it matter to you? What we are talking about is the future of the children. At this point, what is uppermost to TESCOM is getting the best hands.
“The most important factor in education is the quality of teachers. For us as a consultant, excellence is our core value. It is all about getting the best hands. There were some general knowledge questions that are religious, some Christian knowledge, some Islam. We eventually expunged the religious-based questions. That is to show that we have good intentions.
“We are happy that Kwara State has indicated its to understudy Oyo State in order to replicate it. If you build good school structure with excellent facilities without good teachers it is a waste of resources. For the test, we ensured that there was physical distancing in compliance with the COVID-19 protocols, we provided adequate sanitation materials, all candidates covered their faces and mouths.
“ Education is the way to go and the best thing is to put the right people in the classrooms. Computer based test allows for effective testing; it is difficult to cheat. We are also able to see that the teachers are computer literate and technically savvy. We tested for 19 different subjects and we are able to deliver,” Bamgbose added.
The Chairman, TESCOM, Oyo State, Akinade Alamu, said: “The issue of religion raised was due to misunderstanding of the whole concept. The MURIC members that agitated came to the centre; they saw everything and expressed satisfaction with the process.
“We told them that if they like, they can join us for invigilation. We asked them to come around and see things for themselves and they were all satisfied.”
Meanwhile, most of the candidates who took the examination have described it as a veritable means of sourcing good hands in a bid to up the standard of education in the state.
Esther Opeyemi Oyebamiji, one of the candidates who wrote the test, said, “The examination was okay; it was one minute per question. So, it was 50 minutes for 50 questions. Thank God, I was able to answer all the questions. I am impressed with the conduct of the examination.”
Oyebamiji, a graduate of English Language/Social Studies from College of Education, Ikere Ekiti, added, “I am a private school teacher but I prefer to work with the state government, the salary will be different. Again, I will be able to engage with more students if I am considered. Teaching is a calling and I will be happy to contribute my quota to societal development,” Oyebanji said.