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Big Data Generated by Examination Bodies in Nigeria: Any Alternative Purposes?
There are different Examination Bodies in Nigeria, each with its own mandate. The major ones are West African Examinations Council (WAEC), National Examinations Council (NECO), National Business and Technical Examinations Board (NABTEB) and Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB). Each body endeavours to fulfill its mandate; but in doing this year-in, year-out, large volumes of data are being generated. These constitute BIG DATA. Thus, for each body, and for each year, large volumes of data are generated. For each of WAEC, NECO and NABTEB, over one million candidates' examination scores in about eight subjects are generated in their Senior Secondary Certificate Examinations. In all the subjects, scores are generated with at least two test formats - objective and essay. The science and technical subjects have additional practical components. JAMB on its own generates BIG DATA in its Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) in four subjects for each of its over one million candidates every year. While each of WAEC, NECO and NABTEB uses the generated BIG DATA as 'assessment of learning' for achievement yardstick and certification, JAMB uses its own BIG DATA as 'assessment of learning' for selection and placement purposes in tertiary educational institutions. The basic question raised in this Paper, then. is: beyond the primary purposes of achievement yardstick, selection, placement and certification served by the BIG DATA generated every year by the examination bodies, are there other alternative purposes that these BIG DATA can serve? This Paper explores the creation of National Big Data Bank where yearly generated BIG DATA from examination and similar bodies are banked. These can then be subsequently retrieved, analysed, triangulated, regressed, factored and or path-analysed to study and predict patterns, trends, conglomerations, growth and development of individuals, groups, states/nations, curriculums, programmes, etc. This underscores additional utility of BIG DATA in Nigeria.
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