In a manner similar to that of the Independent National Electoral Commission, the management of Covenant University, said it had deployed biometrics devices, otherwise known as
smart card readers, for the conduct of its on-going examination.
The university has been recognised for its engagement of technology in its activities and has been awarded the “Best ICT-driven University” in Nigeria and West Africa.
The Director, Centre for Systems and Information Services of the university, Pastor Abolade Afolabi, explained that the introduction of the smart card readers was to solve the challenge of students having to go through the rigour of printing out their Course Evaluation Forms in order to sit for examination. Another reason, according to him, is to forestall any form of examination malpractice.
INEC deployed a similar technology in the recently concluded general elections.
Prior to the introduction of the card reader for the examination, students were expected to complete their course registration and clearance on the portal and print out the evaluation form. The forms were presented to invigilators at the examination venue before they were eligible to write the exam.
Afolabi further explained that “the card readers use a highly secured cryptographic technology that is commonly used for devices that perform secure transactions, such as payment terminals. The devices contain Green List, that is, names of students who have been evaluated for a particular course and are eligible to take the examination.”
The University’s Director of Academic Planning Unit, Dr. Akan Williams, also claimed that with the introduction of the card readers, examination malpractice had been curtailed to a large extent. Though the use of the device was not without some initial challenges, Williams stated that they had recorded up to 90 per cent success.