15 May 2017

Nigeria: JAMB to Move Utme to Ilorin If Lautech Students Protest Continues

The Joint Admission and Matriculation Board, JAMB, on Monday said it has made plans to move candidates of the 2017 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination, UTME, who were scheduled to have their examination at the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, LAUTECH, Ogbomoso, to Ilorin to write their examination due to continued unrest at the university.

The candidates who were to sit for the exams on Monday inside the LAUTECH campus Computer Based Test (CBT) centre were prevented from gaining entrance inside the premises by protesting students of the institution.

The students had mobilised themselves as early as 6.00 a.m. for the protest, and stationed themselves in teams across all entrances into the institution.

They reportedly barricaded all the entrances, thereby, preventing any movement in and outside of the campus and in the process also denying all staff of the institution entry.

Reacting to the development, JAMB's spokesperson, Fabian Benjamin, in a telephone conversation told PREMIUM TIMES that the board is concluding arrangements to reschedule the exams for the affected candidates at Ilorin.

"We will reschedule them. Even though it's not our problem, it's the school's problem; but they are our candidates. There is no private centre in Ogbomosho and the closest centre to Ogbomosho is Ilorin.

"This disruption happened today and we need to do some technical arrangements first; So, no date has been fixed yet. But we are going to write the exams in Ilorin except if LAUTECH resolves the students unrest", Mr. Benjamin said.

As the UTME commenced on Saturday at 633 centres across the country with 1.7 million candidates expected to sit, many have lamented the irregularities experienced in the network at the Computer Based Centres. Some of the candidates in FCT, Osun, Ebonyi and Nasarawa states expressed dissatisfaction over poor internet challenges at their respective CBT centres.

Speaking at the Digital Bridge Institute, one of the CBT centres in Abuja on Saturday, the Registrar of JAMB, Is-haq Oloyede said that over 57,000 candidates sat on the first day.

He noted that the examination was starting off with two sessions rather than three, to allow the centres cover for any contingencies.

According to him, the examination started late in few centres including the Digital Bridge Institute centre, where the first session started at about 8 a.m., an hour behind schedule.

"The first day we are having a little above 57,000; we want to be skeletal today. We do not want to have the three sessions today, this is the first day and we expect that they will have some wiring problems because we know that most of the centres have been abandoned since last year but by Monday, we will start three full sessions."

Mr. Oloyede also disclosed that four centres, which were confronted with challenges caused by some individuals who were out to sabotage the process, were being closely monitored to forestall further hitches.

"Out of 633 centres, we have problems with four. We have two problems in Bauchi, one in Kano, one in Ekpoma not from technology problem but from those who are cutting corners in the centres, those who have not put the centres in place and for the ingenuity of certain people and criminals that do not know that we have put technology in place to detect what they are doing.

"There was a little disturbance in Ekpoma and we are monitoring what is going on, there is a little problem in Uturu; we are monitoring what is happening there too," he added.

The centre's JAMB administrator, Enobong Bassey, who confirmed Mr. Oloyede's visit told PREMIUM TIMES that only two batches sat for the exams on Saturday. He however added that the centre catered for three batches of candidates on Monday.

"We were only able to take two batches on Saturday due to some logistic issues which we have resolved. As we speak, the third batch is writing their exams today(Monday)", he said.

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