Jamb commences 2018 Utme

The Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) commenced nationwide yesterday amid complaints of epileptic internet facilities by the candidates.

A total of 1.6 million candidates, inclusive of 367 visually-impaired candidates, are participating in the exam scheduled to end on March 17. JAMB had before now, inundated candidates with the rules of engagement particularly the new introductions, encouraging them to abide strictly to avoid punishment from the board.
While some candidates who sat for the exam in some parts of the country yesterday berated JAMB’s preparation, some gave the organisation a thumbs- up.

Some who wrote the exam at Digital Bridge Institute (DBI) CBT centre in Abuja, said they were faced with the issue of computer system shutting down before the end of period for the papers and other minor hiccups.

Others discounted the claims and insisted that DBI and JAMB had rendered better and credible services when compared to last year’s.

A candidate who identified himself as Kamal said he was pleased with the 2018 arrangements, stressing that JAMB had promoted hard work, diligence, instead of cheating and impersonation that were the previous practice.

In Akure, the Ondo State capital, the candidates decried the irregularities at the centres used for the exam, especially the poor internet services at many of the centres in the state.

NationReformer.com which monitored the exercise observed that in some of the centres used for the exam in the state including the Federal University of Technology Akure (FUTA), Adeyemi College of Education, Ondo, Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo and the State Library Complex, Akure, many of the candidates complained about poor internet facilities.

Many of the candidates who sat for the exam at the state’s library complex, Akure, got to the centres as early as 6:30am but could not start the exam as at 7.00am scheduled for its commencement.

A candidate, Dada Omotayo, complained that the poor network services of the internet used for the exam caused serious delay for him.

One of the candidates encountered during a tour of some centres in Lagos State, Master Precious Onumajuru, a student of MacrkPat Royal Academy Iba, disclosed that he was assigned to sit for the exam in Shagamu/Illisan, Ogun State.

At a centre on Ogunlana Drive, Surulere Lagos, they had just one session scheduled for 3pm. Candidates were left waiting for over half an hour before they were admitted in for the CBT.

A candidate who identified herself as Ese said she got there around 10:30 but waited till 3pm to clock in.
She who said, the centre apart from starting late, had good network, however, lamented some delays which she claimed were created by the organisers.

Another candidate Veronica said that the network was bad initially but she was happy that it was resolved within few minutes.

When NationReformer.com visited some centres, which included Moshood Abiola Polytechnic, South West Resource Centre and National Open University in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, some candidates, who sat for the afternoon session, which began at 3p.m, expressed satisfaction with the hitch-free exercise.

Though JAMB officials met at the centres, declined to speak with our correspondent, it was observed that the test was held without any issue or problem.

A JAMB official who spoke with our correspondent while insisting on being anonymous, said that the exam body had made adequate provisions for the computer-based test.

He added that the exam, which will run for a week, has been scheduled to hold under morning and afternoon sessions.

When asked about technical hitches being anticipated by the body, the official said, though the test is computer-based, the exam body had opted for a land area network (LAN) instead of wireless, to ensure that the test was not fraught with network challenges.

Meanwhile, JAMB has excluded the centre at Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso in Oyo State from participating in the 2018 UTME.

NationReformer.com gathered that the exclusion was not unconnected with the way LAUTECH students prevented UTME candidates from sitting for the exam at the centre last year.

The students had protested against the closure of the school since June 2016 by locking the gates of the institution, and thereby preventing the UTME candidates from gaining access to the campus. The situation forced JAMB to reschedule the exam for the affected candidates outside Ogbomoso.

Meanwhile, yesterday, there were fears that some candidates might have missed the exam because they did not get JAMB notification detailing vital information about the time and centre.

But JAMB spokesman, Dr. Fabian Benjamin, dispelled the allegations, informing the candidates that the board was not planing to reschedule the exam date for any reason.

Its Registrar, Prof. Ishaq Oloyede, had earlier told candidates that the system was not same with that of previous years, where the e-slip was uploaded on candidates’ JAMB profile.