The Anambra State Government has handed over the embattled 19-year-old candidate in the 2023 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination, Ejikeme Mmesoma, to a psychotherapist for three months of guidance and counselling coaching.
The state Commissioner for Education, Prof Ngozi Theresa Chuma-Udeh, announced this during a media chat with journalists in Awka on Wednesday.
Mmesoma had claimed a score of 362 as opposed to her official score of 249, according to JAMB. In one viral video, she brandished the result which she said had been downloaded from the official JAMB portal.
The Board however presented evidence indicating that Mmesoma had requested her result via its automated SMS-based service, which repeatedly responded to her requests with the 249 score.
Following an interface with a committee set up by the Anambra State Government to investigate the incident, the 19-year-old reportedly confessed that she singlehandedly carried out the manipulation of her UTME result.
The committee, in its submission, found her guilty of forging her JAMB result, using her phone.
According to the state government, Mmesoma will undergo a therapy class for three months as recommended by the panel set up by the state government that looked into the controversy surrounding her JAMB result.
Chuma-Udeh stated the panel, after finding Mmesoma guilty, recommended that “she should undergo psychological counselling and therapy”.
She noted that the psychotherapist would engage her in a range of learning experiences, including group work, case studies, problem-solving exercises, enquiry-based and experiential learning, as well as the more traditional lecture-based approach.
Mmesoma will reportedly also be encouraged to participate in a student-peer mentoring programme with the opportunity to act as a mentor for other students.
According to the education commissioner, the psychological cleansing commenced last week and sessions will be held twice a week for three months.
“We considered what Mmesoma did as ‘juvenile delinquency’ which any child could fall victim to. So we are not going to throw the baby away with the bath water,” Chuma-Udeh said.
“She is now under a psychotherapist counsellor who will take her on therapy for three months after which the state government will appeal to JAMB management on behalf of her to reconsider one or two things.”
The commissioner commended Governor Chukwuma Soludo for approving the psychotherapy class for Mmesoma.
Meanwhile, Mmesoma appeared before the House of Representatives in Abuja, which had set up an ad hoc committee at the height of the debacle to look into the claims by the concerned parties.
The 19-year-old read a “Letter of Profound Apology” to the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), asking the exam body and its Registrar, Professor Is-haq Oloyede, to “temper justice with mercy”.