By John Onah, Abuja
The Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) said it has done nothing wrong by stopping candidates from writing examination for late arrival maintaining that it was a laid down regulation of the board.
JAMB’s Head of Media, Dr Fabian Benjamin, who disclosed this at one of the centres in Abuja noted that JAMB doesn’t condone lateness, adding that the candidates who missed their scheduled examination cannot be rescheduled as according to him, their questions which were individually programmed had returned to the source.
He explained that the affected candidates mistook examination centres for examination towns stressing that instead of going to their examination centres, the candidates went to examination own chosen by the board to guide them on the limitation of the area their examination centres were restricted to.
While acknowledging that the exercise had been hitch-free, he admitted that there were challenges in some areas.
“There are no centres where you won’t have any challenges at all,” he said, explaining that, “In one of the centres, they had challenges and couldn’t write exams and we rescheduled them to take their examinations today.”
“We have set machineries in motion to address such challenges when they occur. The important thing is there are processes to address those challenges when they arrive, we have been addressing them.
“For every candidate who registered for this examination, we are sure except if that candidate decided not to come,” he said.
Fabian added that there were issues of biometrics and local area network issues because according to him,” some cables were not trunked properly.”
some candidates who registered to write the 2020 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination, UTME, failed in their bid to participate in the exercise because they arrived after their scheduled time had already begun. The candidates who were scheduled to write the examination at the Global Distance Learning Programme Institute, opposite the Ministry of Finance, Central Business District, Abuja, were barred from entering the examination hall for arriving some minutes late.
The development caused tension as both parents and the affected candidates engaged security deplored at the centre for taking the action stopping them from participating in the exercise. The tension was doused when the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, Sonny Echono, accompanied by JAMB’s registrar, Prof. Ishaq Oloyede and some officials of board arrived to monitor the exercise beginning from the centre. The aggrieved parents and candidates who had waited while protesting their non-inclusion in the exercise were asked to wait aside for the government’s officials to carry out their assignment. But they could no longer hold their patience when Echono and his team left without addressing their problems as they burst into tears and wept inconsolably.
Meanwhile, the federal government said it was satisfied with the general conduct of the examination. Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Sony Echono said the smooth conduct of the exercise showed that efficiency had been established. “We have gotten a good hand on it, efficiency has been established and we are improving on it each time.” According to him, “This year, we had some innovations; even at the point to take your exams, we take your biometrics and it is the only basis with which even your questions can be activated on our computer.” “Everything is moving smoothly, candidates are also adjusting to the CBT system, we are proud to have professor Oloyede who with his integrity and commitment has given this to us,” he said.
Meanwhile, the exercise was hitch free at the Model Secondary school, Maitama Abuja, as te candidates were seeing conducted themselves in orderly manner.
The candidates were provided with seats immediately after biometric verification as according to the Spervisor, Fatima Abubakar Shamaki, the gesture was to avoid loitering and probably lead to exam malpractices.
According to her, the centre relied solely on generator to avoid any uncertainty maintaining that electric supply was unreliable.