The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), on Tuesday commenced the conduct of the 2023 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME).
A visit by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) correspondent to some of the Computer Based Centres (CBT) in Abuja and its environs revealed that the examination was free from technical hitches.
At Global Distance Learning Institute, opposite Ministry of Finance, Central Business Area, Abuja, it was observed that as at 6:50 a.m, candidates were already waiting for the examination to start.
It was also observed that the first session of the examinations that was to commence at exactly 8:00a.m, did not start until few minutes before 9: 00a.m.
However, when asked why the candidates were still waiting, an invigilator, who simply gave his name as Rilwanu, revealed that the time was moved from 8:00 a.m to 8:30 a.m as they were awaiting orders from JAMB headquarters.
Meanwhile, one of the High Opinion Leaders for the examination, Mr Abdulrahman Balogun, said there were no technical hitches but the little delay was from JAMB headquarters.
”I have been to some centres this morning from Jikwoyi, Karu to AYA and now at the Global Distance Learning Institute.
”At this centre, they are to have three sessions, the first session is to start at 7:00a.m and students were expected to arrive at 6:30am. The second session is to start at 9:00a.m, while the third session starts at 11:00 a.m.
”We had some little delay at this centre, the examination that ought to have started at 7:00 a.m did not start and when asked I was told it was not due to any technical hitch but they were waiting for signal from JAMB headquarters.
”As you can see, the examination is going on unhindered, 200 candidates are expected to sit for the first session but out of this, 183 were accredited, 16 absent and one unverified,” he said.
Balogun, who said that candidates in the second batch had been screened to ascertain their centre, commended the process saying that close to 99 per cent success in terms of orderliness, smoothness and arrangement was recorded.
Speaking on the high turnout of parents loitering the examination centre, he advised parents to avoid obstructing the process of the examinations.
”Parents will continue to be parents, some will say they will come along with their children because of security reasons.
”Some say they are still children and the truth is these are children. You cannot blame them but they should not interfere with the process or conduct of JAMB examination.
”It is their fundamental right to stay outside the gate but they should not come in and obstruct the exams,” he said.
The NAN correspondent also observed the distribution of Bibles by Gideon International, to candidates at the CBT centre, however, Balogun condemned this act as it was capable of distracting the candidates.
He, therefore, called for intervention, so that this would not cause friction as leaders continued to preach religious tolerance.
He commended the board’s Registrar, Prof. Ishaq Oloyede, for the introduction of technology in the conduct of its examinations, adding that this had helped to curb malpractices in the system.
Some of the candidates, who spoke with NAN after their examinations, commended the process and prayed for the sustainability in future examinations.
Mr Hassan Usman, who attempted the examination for the third time, praised the board for the hitch free experience.
”I thank God for the examination, though at first, the computer did not show us the questions to answer, we complained and immediately this was corrected.
”Since then we did not experience any hitch. This is my best examination because from the last two examinations I wrote, there were usually technical fault, which prevented me from gaining admission into tertiary institution.
”But with this I am happy, there is an improvement in the conduct of the examination from registration to mock and the main UTME. I am hopeful to get admitted into my school of choice this year,” he said.
In the same vein, at the Futuregate CBT Centre 2, in Ado, Nasarawa State, Mr Timothy Abuga, a Supervisor, said that there were no hitches with conduct of the examination.
According to him, the Futuregate CBT Centre 2 is a full centre, with a reasonable number of candidates on ground and so far, we don’t have any issue with the conduct.
”We are expecting more than 250 candidates for the exam. The network is encouraging and the centre too is conducive for candidates.
Also, Mr Samson Ichimso, a candidate, who had written the examination in 2022, expressed satisfaction with the 2023 conduct, saying that this year’s examination is more preferable.
”Last year, my score was very poor, but I believe this year’s own will be better because there is no network issue and the examination worked smoothly,” he said.
The story from candidates at the Futuregate CBT Centre 1 and the Zinaria CBT Centre in Mararaba, were not different from that of the Futuregate CBT Centre 2.
NAN Recalls that no fewer than 1.6 million candidates would be writing the 2023 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examinations (UTME) in about 600 approved CBT centres across the country. (NAN)

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