Irregularities, Confusion Greet 2021 UTME

By  citybusinessnews@yahoo.com

Criticisms have trailed the 2021 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME), which commenced nationwide on Saturday, June 19th, 2021. 

Some centers, accredited for the computer-basedexamination conducted by the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) were unable to conduct the examinations as at 3.20pm on Saturday leaving numerous candidates disappointed.

  The development led to the cancellation of examination at Sweet Valley Educational Services CBT center, Alimosho Local Government Area in Lagos State and Certified Shipping Institute of Nigeria, Magbon, along Badagry expressway.

 When City BusinessNews Online contacted the head of public affairs and protocol of JAMB, Dr Fabian Benjamin on Phone, he confirmed the development.

Mr Benjamin said the affected candidates would be rescheduled by JAMB to sit the examination at a date to be announced soon.

 City BusinessNews Online also gathered that similar challenges were recorded across the country. The examination is expected to span over three weeks, with three sets of candidates writing daily. 

Investigation conducted by City BusinessNews (www.citybusinessnews.com)  also revealed that  the first sets of candidates, who were checked into the Sweet Valley Educational Services CBT facility at about 7am for the two hours exams were still inside the hall as at 3pm,with just about 15 candidates being able to write as only five computers in the hall expected to sit 200 candidates were working.

Besides the center being a health hazardous environment as it’s situated right behind a dump site along Lasu/Iyana oba expressway in Alimosho Local Government area of Lagos state, candidates posted to the center were not able to write the exams.

Giving an account of the incident, a parent,  Pastor Chuka Ebene whose son was in the 7am batch said the candidates checked into the facility as early as 7:30am after their biometrics had been taken.

According to him, parents became worried around 11am when their wards were yet to come out of the center, though the batchfor 9am were called in.

On inquiry, he said they were told that the severs were down and efforts were being made to resuscitate them.

He said parents became worried when the 9am candidates who were earlier checked were asked to vacate the premises and wait till further notice for communications  from JAMB  on a new date for the exams.

“I am really worried about this situation in this country. How can our future leaders be treated this way. Imagine, we left home at about 5:30am for an exam expected to take place at 7am and at now 12pm the candidates are yet to come out of the premises. This environment is not conducive enough. Imagine setting up a school beside a dump site. The stench from  the dump site alone is hazardous to health, then you now add psychological and emotional trauma on the students.

JAMB should find a lasting solution to the problems associated with the conduct of this examination. The stress on the candidates and the parents cannot just be quantified.

Who are those accrediting these centers? What are the steps taken before this centers are accredited? Who is responsible for the final approval of these centers. Lots and lots of questions need to be answered as regards the smooth running of these centers approved for the examinations.”  Ebene said.

Another parent, Oluwatosin Moses whose child was part of the 2nd batch slated to commence at 9, lamented that the situation with the centre is not palatable at all.

According to her, the center should not have been accredited for an examination of this magnitude.

Specifically, she called for an investigation by the highest echelon in JAMB on the issue.

“Besides the center not being fully equipped for such an important examination, I call of those in high authority in JAMB to investigate the approval of this center. This place should not be use for school, the environment is not good for the health of children. Why are Nigerians like this? Did people from JAMB conduct a facility check before this place was approved?.   Imagine the stress we all went through to locate this place and at the end of the day, our children were asked to go home till further notice.

Investigations conducted by City BusinessNews Online revealed that though examinations started behind schedule in most centers, candidates were able to take their tests with an exception of a few centers among which is the Sweet Valley Educational Services, where candidates were asked to go home and wait for further directives from JAMB on when to write their examinations.

  Also in Nasarawa State, Students, parents complain of poor network, malfunctioning of computers

Some of the parents told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in separate interviews in Nasarawa, Nasarawa Local Government Area of the state, that this would affect their children performance negatively. 

They however called on the management of JAMB to ensure that all accredited JAMB centre systems were working properly so as not to short changed candidates sitting for the examination. 

But they lauded security agents for restricting the movement of people aroung and within the examination hall. 

Mr Ayuba Joshua, a parent whose son is writing UTME, expressed disappointment over the challenge of poor network and malfunctioning of computers. 

“We are here since morning, some of the students that are writing 9 a.m examinations have complained of poor network and malfunctioning of systems. 

“They have told us that keyboards and mouses are not functinoning well and some of them are still in the examination hall due to bad network. 

“Our problem also is that applicants writing 1 p.m examination are yet to commence their examinations, look at the time now (3.45pm). We don’t why. 

“We don’t know what is happening that since 9 a.m; students are still in the examination hall, it means there is problem of poor network or something,” he said. 

Another parent, Mr Chinize Nwosu, also confirmed that “students writing 9 a.m examination are still inside the examination hall without doing anything as at 2 p.m. 

“Some of the students complained to us that there was poor network, the keyboards and mouses are not functioning well. 

“Those writing 9 a.m examination are still in the hall,” he said. 

Mrs Celina Christopher, another parent, also appealed to JAMB to  always ensure proper arrangements in order to ensure hitch free exercise. 

Another parent, Mr Rishama Maiwazi also decried poor network which may affect candidates’ performance negatively. 

“Security agents are doing good job. I commend them for restriction of movement. If you are not a candidate, you will not enter the hall which is good. 

“But the problem is that students are complaining of poor network and bad systems,” he said. 

Some of the affected students, who spoke on condition of anonymity, decried poor network and malfunctioning of computers. 

“Please help us tell JAMB, other stakeholders and the general public that the systems/computers, mouse here are not working well. 

“I am in the examination hall since 9 a.m and it is just now (3 p.m) that I have finished,” one of the students told NAN.