The 2015 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) billed to commence yesterday, nationwide, after it was shifted from Monday, was faced with some challenges as internet servers as well as biometric machines to capture candidates’ thumb-prints and other data at some centres failed.
Vanguard cited reports from the University of Nigeria (UNN), Nsukka, Enugu State, where the UTME was held at the Department of Economics, that the first batch of candidates who were expected to start the examinations did not start until at about 3.30 pm due to lack of the internet.
It was however, a success story at Oko Polytechnic, Oko, Anambra State, where the institution had earlier established a CBT centre with about 2000 computers. The initial problems of lack of internet servers were rectified by some JAMB officials before the first batch started. About 24,000 candidates would write the examination in the school during the 10 days that the test would last, Vanguard reports.
At the University of Lagos, Akoka, there were about four candidates whose thumbprint did not match with what the exam body had on its database. However, since other data provided by them during registration for the exams were correct, supervisors at the centre allowed them to be screened based on the exemption mode.
Another controversy which emerged yesterday was the complaints raised by candidates who registered for the UTME in Lagos State, but were posted to neighbouring states of Osun, Ogun and Kwara to write the examinations.
This development it was learned was as a result of shortage of Computer-Based Test (CBT) centres in Lagos State to cater for the huge number of candidates billed to write the exams.
According to the Public Relations Officer of Joint Admission Matriculation Board, JAMB, Mr. Benjamin Fabian, Over 1.4 million candidates will be writing this year’s UTME across 400 CBT centres nationwide.
Reacting to the development, former Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof. Peter Okebukola, who lauded JAMB’s Registrar, Professor Dibu Ojerinde, for initiating the total CBT format for the 2015 UTME, however, blamed the problems which marred the commencement of the exams in some centres on logistics.
“I am sure this must be for logistical reasons and to ensure that candidates are best served in the most conducive environment to conduct a computer-based test. The technology has to be right. The security and surveillance against cheating has to be right. The power supply has to be right. The overall ambience of the environment has to be conducive for the candidate. To satisfy all these conditions next door for every UTME candidate is like asking for the moon.
“I suspect that transfer of candidates from one state to the other does not mean moving candidates from Oyo to Borno or to Rivers. It could mean the next contiguous state where facilities are more available. This may just be a few kilometres, perhaps less than 10 kilometres. We pray for journey mercies for all candidates. By the way, candidates for some international examinations travel to Ghana from Nigeria to take the exams in the approved centres. In all of these, every pioneering activity comes with its challenges. If you have to wait for utopian conditions, you will never venture into new territories,” he told Vanguard.