The attention of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board [JAMB] has been drawn to the protest by some alleged UTME candidates in Benin and Lagos.
The candidates were said to be protesting over the closure of the Board’s registration portal in preparation for the 2016 Examination which is due to begin in less than a week from today.
The Board sincerely sympathizes with the plight of these prospective candidates and states that it’s the wish of the Board that Nigerian youth desirous of tertiary education are giving ample opportunity to register for its examination.
This was why it began the sale of its application document last year August, that is about seven months ago.
In the advertisement for the sale of the registration documents, the Board clearly stated that the sales would close by January, but due to public appeal it extended the registration process to February.
It’s imperative to disclose that the closure was also to allow the Board to prepare adequately for the examination slated for the end of February.
The Board cannot allow candidates to register perpetually. It has a time table and it adheres strictly to it to allow the tertiary institutions begin the process of admission early.
We all must work to enshrine the culture of discipline in the system and ensure that tertiary institutions’ calendars are maintained.
It’s most unfortunate that some candidates waited until our website was withdrawn before making attempts to register.
This scenario looks very suspicious, for a candidate who is billed to sit for an examination slated for February to suddenly appear in the same February protesting his inability to register less than a week to the examination when he knew that the registration was too close in the same month.
This arrangement is not new to Nigerians as the Board’s process begins with the sales of application documents in August and ends early in the year of the examination and every aspiring candidate is expected to know as proper publicity involving the media is done.
Through this same process over a million candidates have applied within this period and the Board has made adequate preparation for them to sit for the 2016 exercise.
However, it is common knowledge that one of the challenges of public examination in Nigeria is examination malpractice and one of the antics of the perpetrators of these acts is to force the Board into establishing a special center where late candidates will be bunched together to perpetrate exam malpractice.
There are no special centres anymore because they are being used as insecurity avenues.
The Board is at the moment working tirelessly to conduct one of the best examinations globally. It’s no news that other international public examination bodies are already in Nigeria to understudy how we were able to get it right with CBT testing in Nigeria.
The Board will like to use this opportunity to correct the misconception created by candidates that the Board posted them to far away examination centres. The Board doesn’t post candidates to examination towns. Candidates chose the town of their choice while we send them to centres within their chosen towns.
Dr. Fabian Benjamin
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