JAMB attributes 2016 UTME challenges to technical glitches

Temitope Mustapha, Abuja

Dibu Ojerinde

Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, JAMB says challenges associated with Computer Based Test are partly technical in which time will address.

The JAMB Registrar, Professor Dibu Ojerinde said this in Abuja while addressing Journalists on the conduct of the 2016 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examinations.

The Registrar also urged Nigerians to see the Computer Based test as a benefit to the Nigerian child and also work with the board to ensure its success.

Professor Dibu who said it is becoming a war conducting examinations in Nigeria following the activities of Owners of special centres accused proprietors and tutorial school owners of being behind the protests which was recently carried out by candidates of the last UTME, who stormed the Lagos State House of Assembly recently to protest alleged maltreatment by JAMB in the examination.

“Going back to the era of paper pencil test would amount to taking two steps backward which is not good for Nigeria”

He said: “I want to say it here that conducting examination is becoming a war; it is already a war. You should have seen us in the control room of the examination. When the exam was going on, I was in the war front; I was not able to leave the control room.

“The invaders were more than 20 well-armed men. The Nigeria Army had to mobilise their men to make it possible for us to conduct examinations in Auchi, because the mercenaries in Uromi were determined to frustrate us, but of cause they frustrated them in return.

“The organisers of the protest did not do it in the interest of the candidates but done as a result of their frustration due to their inability to perpetuate their planned acts of irregularities. Majority of these people who are frustrated collected huge sums of monies from the candidates, they were the organizers of the protest, and we have adequate information to prove it.

The JAMB Boss revealed that a centre owner in Kaduna has been arrested and investigation was ongoing.

“There was an episode in Kaduna where an owner of a centre decided to perpetuate malpractice, as a result he was arrested and quickly handed over to the police.

He said some JAMB officials were offered as much as N6 million to compromise in their centres but refused.

On the issue of two results by candidates, he said: “the process of our marking involves transformation and other qualitative programming. In the process of this transfiguration, we had a little challenge, which we quickly corrected and ensured that this never happened in subsequent results.

Ojerinde maintained that the problem was only associated with the candidates that sat for the examination on Saturday 27th, and some candidates of Monday, 29th February 2016.

“Overall, there were about 145,000 of them. Immediately we noted this we refused to continue to release the results until the system error was corrected. When it was corrected all other people who sat for the examination from that time up till yesterday had no problem and now even some of them that were affected are asking for extra marks.

He also revealed that a blind candidate scored 286 in the just concluded examination.

Speaking on the reported cases of failed and ineffective centres, the JAMB boss noted that some centre operators were not sincere on the true positions of their facilities.

“This led to the relocation or rescheduling of candidates from some of the centres to more suitable centres. I want to apologise to these two categories of people, but we are going put on a redress for those whose relocation affected them in missing their examination.

He added that it was wrong for anybody to call for the total scrapping of the Computer Based Test (CBT), adding that the exam has been organised in such a way that any candidate who can operate a mobile phone can write the exam.

Validity Extension

On the extension of the validity period of the UTME from one year to three years, the registrar supported the move, but cautioned that the policy may have an adverse effect on the student due to the carrying capacity of Nigerian universities.

Speaking further, Ojerinde said a total number of 1,592,44 candidates registered for the examination, adding that 1,546,633 actually sat for the UTME.

He added that 23,577 candidates were absent for the exam.