As the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) continues across the country, there have been pockets of complaints from some candidates.These complaints are either about power failure, failure of biometric capturing machines or other forms of technical hitches including incomplete questions.
There are, however, a majority of the candidates spoken to by our reporters who have hailed the process, even as they commended the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board for what they described as an improved system.
This year’s edition of the entrance examination into the country’s tertiary institutions commenced on Friday and would continue until Saturday, May 14.JAMB said more than 1.8 million candidates have been scheduled to sit this year’s examination nationwide.
Faulty computers, power outagesSome of the candidates and parents who spoke to PREMIUM TIMES have expressed disappointment over their inability to take the computer-based examination due to the “poor atmosphere” at the computer-based test centres where they sat the tests.But the examination body has repeatedly said it will not reschedule the test for any candidate “for whatever reason”.
JAMB’s head of public affairs and protocol unit, Fabian Benjamin, did not respond to requests for additional comments on the matter on Sunday.A concerned parent, Timothy Ikyurior, who spoke to PREMIUM TIMES from Nasarawa State, narrated how his daughter and other students couldn’t take their examination on Saturday despite getting to the venue hours before the scheduled time for their papers.Mr Ikyutior, who said he drove his daughter to Mas Global Resources CBT Centre in Nasarawa State around 7 a.m for her 9 a.m session, said his daughter couldn’t take the examination because her computer consistently developed faults.He said the candidates were only called into the examination hall for an examination scheduled for 9 a.m. at 10:45 am.He said at about 2 p.m. when his daughter and other candidates came out of the examination hall, she told him she was unable to take the test because her computer and that of others ‘did not work’.
He said: “They were the second batch which was supposed to be 9 o clock. But they went in when it was 10:4 5a.m. After a long time, by 2p.m, she came and told me she couldn’t write because her computer refused to start.
“She said the system number 31 which she used and even 32 did not start. She even said that those whose computers started well also went off intermittently in the middle of the examination.”Mr Ikyutior said he tried to enquire from the officials but the only person that spoke to him was an unnamed supervisor from Zaria whom he said told him “that students have to go to the JAMB office to request rescheduling of their examinations.”
He said the supervisor also complained about the state of activities at the centre. Another parent, who craved anonymity, also complained about the conduct of the examination at HF-Jemajo Technology CBT Centre in Benin City, Edo State capital.The parent said candidates were reportedly given 10 only extra minutes to complete their work after the power generating set went off for more than 1 hour.
“There was a power outage as the only generator set went off in the middle of the students taking their examination. It took hours before they brought in another generator set, a situation that prompted parents and students to be agitated.
“However, when the new set was brought, they say, only 10 minutes was allowed for the students to conclude their examination,” the source said.