Hundreds of students, who sat for the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) on Monday in Kano staged a peaceful demonstration against mass failure and withholding of their results. The students stormed the premises of the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria in Kano on motorcycles around noon and carried placards and green leaves to show their anger.
Spokesman for the candidates, Haruna Maidabam, described the withholding of their results as a deliberate attempt to deny them the opportunity to further their studies.
According to him, more than 10, 000 students who sat for the examination in Kano metropolis have yet to access their results.
Mr Maidabam said when the results were released last week, they went to the zonal office of Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board in Kano (JAMB) to complain but were directed to go and repeat the thumb printing for verification.
“There is no reason for any verification of thumb- print,” he said.
He called on the authorities concerned to do something urgently to address their predicament.
When contacted, the JAMB Zonal Coordinator, Hajiya Karimatu Abubakar, described the incident as unfortunate and attributed it to “some technical hitches”.
Mr Abubakar said as soon as the hitches were rectified, the issue would be resolved.
Registrar of the Joint Admissions and Matriculations Board (JAMB), Professor Dibu Ojerinde has announced 2015 as deadline for the commencement of the Computer Based Testing (CBT) for the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME).
Professor Ojerinde who made the announcement at a news conference in Abuja on Thursday, said issues of inadequate power supply in the country would not deter the smooth running of the CBT system, as the board would seek public private partnerships. He added that the price of forms would also remain the same.
According to the registrar, 150 computer terminals would be built by JAMB as well as testing centres in each state for the conduct of the 2013 UTME using the mini computer based testing system.
He however noted that candidates who have phobia for computer system will have other options of writing the examination in paper and pencil dual testing procedures until 2015.
The Minister of Education, Ruqayyatu Rufai on Monday warned the Joint Admission and Matriculations Board (JAMB) against admitting candidates without prerequisite qualification and certificates.
Mrs Rufai gave this warning at the 2012 Combined Policy Meeting on Admission to Degree-Awarding institutions, National Diploma (ND), Nigeria Certificate in Education (NCE) and National Innovation Diploma (NID) awarding institutions.
The Minister said admission should not be given to candidates who applied for the National Certificate of Education (NCE), National Diploma (ND) or the Interim Joint Matriculation Board Examination (IJMBE) without the prerequisite Advance Level (A/L) certificate.
She said it is illegal for some institutions, especially the universities to equate their foundation programmes with the ‘A’ level certificate. “The programme is for a period of one academic year, and thereafter, the students are admitted into 200 levels through direct entry, this is illegal.
“All `A’ Level equivalents should pass through the National Council on Education for approval. We have got to do the right thing.
“The Tertiary Education Department is hereby directed to collect the names of erring institutions for appropriate disciplinary action.”
Mrs Rufa’i announced the cut-off mark for admission into colleges of education and polytechnics for the 2012/2013 academic session in the country as 160 and 180 for all federal universities.
The Registrar and Chief Executive of JAMB, Adedibu Ojerinda, insisted that all institutions must adhere strictly to the entry requirements as documented in the board’s brochure and comply with the admission schedules.
“Institutions should ensure compliance with approved admission guidelines, bearing in mind such criteria as catchment, educationally-less developed states, quota, carrying-capacity and national cut-off marks.’’
The registrar said that available statistics indicated a disturbing trend regarding attendance and compliance at the two Technical Committee meetings in 2011 held in Owerri and llorin.
He said only few institutions used JAMB list in 2011 admissions. “The board frowns at this and hopes that the 2012 admission will be an improvement upon last year’s,’’ he said
He added that all foreign-based and physically-challenged candidates, who sat for the 2012 UTME and made the national minimum cut-off mark should be given due consideration.
The Chairman of the Committee of Provosts in Nigeria, Isa Abubakar, who spoke on behalf of the federal universities, said that the agreed cut off point for admission into universities is 180 while the Chairman, Council of Heads of Polytechnics and Colleges of Technology in Nigeria (COHEADS), Mohammed Nabade said that the cut-off mark for admission into colleges and polytechnics is 160.
The Minister of Education, Professor Ruqayat Rufai has expressed confidence that the continuous use of the biometric verification exercise introduced by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) will eradicate all forms of examination malpractices.
Speaking in Abuja while monitoring the conduct of the 2012 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME), Professor Rufai said “the federal government will continue to work towards improving the nation’s standard of education at all levels.”
Also, JAMB registrar, Prof. Dibu Ojerinde, has stated that 2012 UTME was “extremely successful in all the centres”, he said, noting the use of the biometric data capturing machine recorded an “extraordinary” success when compared to the performance of the machines in the same examinations in 2011.
“The machine has helped us a great deal to solve the challenge of impersonation, late coming and absenteeism. A major hurdle for the board was dealing with the problem of impersonation and with the use of this machine; there was no case of impersonation recorded at the 2012 UTME. So, I would say that the use of the biometric capturing system was a success since it was able to address the major issues of impersonation and exam malpractice” stated Professor Ojerinde.
The Registrar also noted that the initial fears of security in some parts of the country was not entertained while the exams lasted, as he stated that “everything went well.” Prof. Ojerinde had initially threatned that the UTME might not hold in some states in the north, where fundametalist sect, Boko Haram was staging attacks against academic institutions.
The UTME was organized across the country and a number foreign country with a record over 1.5million students sitting for the entrance exams into the nation’s ivory towers.
In Lagos, some of the biometrics data capturing machine malfunctioned.
Speaking with deputy director, JAMB’s zonal office Benin, who was in charge of Lagos Island West, Mrs Agatha Bosini, however stated that, less than 20 cases of exam malpractice was discovered while she also confirmed the success recorded with the use of biometric machines.
“We had serious problems when we introduced the biometric system last year, but this not the case this year.” “We have not been able to register up to 20 cases this year” she added.
Results of the UTME are expected out in a matter of days.
The House of Representatives has summoned the registrar of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Professor Dibu Ojerinde, to explain his statement that the body may not conduct examinations in some volatile states in northern Nigeria.
In a motion of urgent national importance, Representative Aminu Sulieman, said the decision taken by the examination body is not only selfish but also wrong.
The registrar is to explain where he derives the powers to take such a decision and has been told to reverse the decision.
The House approved the motion and has mandated its Committee on Education and Security to look into the matter and report.
Professor Ojerinde, had last week stated that the forthcoming Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) might not hold in the volatile states in northern Nigeria.
The Professor made the announcement while speaking with reporters at the 58th National Council on Education (NEC) meeting.
According to him, JAMB will be forced to cancel the examination if the Boko Haram attacks on primary and secondary schools in Borno State continue.
“When we reviewed the situation in volatile states, for instance Borno, we realized that some of the schools are being bombed, but our investigations showed that only primary schools are affected and not secondary schools” he said.
Fundamentalist sect Boko Haram which translates to “Western education is sacrilege” or “a sin”, has in recent weeks being staging attacks on schools in some states in Northern Nigeria, such as Borno.
About seven schools were razed in the last two weeks in the troubled state.
The forthcoming UTME is slated for Saturday March 24th.