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Despite assurances by JAMB, lateness, system failure beset 2020 UTME


It was troubling times for candidates as lateness in CBT centres  and system failure contrived to frustrate hundreds of candidates  as the 2020 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination, UTME, commenced Saturday across the country.

This was despite repeated assurances from the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) of its readiness to conduct examination,

Reports from the centres visited by BusinessDay correspondent indicated computer failure, late commencement of examinations, especially in remote areas of Lagos were rampant.

Anxious parents at Grand school, Agan Alimosho LGA,  Lagos,   in a chat with BusinessDay lamented that examinations scheduled to commence at 7. 00 am were yet to commence as at 10 am, saying: “Candidates who arrived the centre since 7 a.m., were made to wait without any explanation for the delay.”

At Vanilla CBT centre located at Cardoso street, Ayobo, Lagos, candidates were still waiting anxiously to write the examination despite early entry into the Hall as parents, and journalists were barred from entry into the premises.

A parent, Anthony Odionye, a civil Engineer, who accompanied his 16-year-old son to the center  lamented the delay, saying the examination body had a whole year to prepare for this examination ,adding that the hitches being experienced were things that JAMB would have rectified ahead of time.

BusinessDay observed that there were delay in some centers as biometric registration were not working occasioned by server challenges.

It will be recalled that in preparation for the upcoming 2020 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) 350,000 candidates across Nigeria took part in the Computer Based Test (CBT) mock examination.

The mock examination which is optional presents an opportunity for secondary school leavers seeking to gain admissions into universities, polytechnics or colleges of education to test their preparedness for the main examination.

Ishaq Oloyede, registrar of JAMB, said about 64 computer-based centres across the country will be used for the mock examination.

Oloyede said that over 1.9 million candidates registered for the UTME examination, schedule to take place from March 14 to April 4, 2020 while ‘200,000 registered for direct entry.

Fabian Benjamin, head of Media and Information, in a recent interview said that the 2020 UTME and Direct Entry registrations exercises started on January 13 and would end on February 17 across the country.

Benjamin said that the examination board had no plan to extend the date for the registration of candidates for both the UTME and DE, as was being speculated in some quarters.

He disclosed that the over 1.9 million candidates registered for the examination without doubt, is the highest that the board has ever recorded in the history of its examination.

According to him, a total of 669 out of the 747 centres across the country would be used for the conduct of the computer-based test (CBT).

He called for the support and cooperation of stakeholders to collectively deliver on the public responsibility.

BusinessDay investigations reveal that carrying capacity in tertiary education institutions in Nigeria has not significantly improved in relation to the exponential growth in the number of candidates seeking tertiary education in the country.

Tertiary education institutions in Nigeria include, but not limited to, the universities, colleges of education and polytechnics. In the 2019 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examinations (UTME), over 1.9 million candidates sat for the examinations, while the spaces available were not more than 500,000.