Sunday, 30 April 2017

JAMB: Fresh confusion over examination centres

There is confusion over the allocation of centres to candidates of the 2017 Unified Tertiary Matriculation (UTM) examination next month by the Joint Admission Matriculation Board (JAMB) to states outside their residences.

Checks revealed that the examination body has started issuing centres and seat numbers to candidates.

The slip containing the centre and seat numbers, according to checks by our correspondent also contain the examination towns where candidates will seat for the forthcoming examination.

The exact names of the centre, according to JAMB, will be sent to the candidates’ email boxes in dues course.

However, the online publication of candidates’ examination towns by the body appeared to have been greeted with more confusion ahead of this year’s UTM examination.

Across the country, candidates and their parents are angrily protesting what they called the gross insensitivity of the management of the examination body in the choice of examination towns for many of the candidates.

The Nation gathered that a good number of the candidates have been allocated centers outside their states of residence.

The situation will see many candidates from Lagos state having to travel all the way to Ekiti, Ondo, Edo and other such states for the examination.

Candidates, who spoke with our correspondent in Lagos, lamented the financial and physical difficulties they will encounter with the development.

They added efforts to complain to the examination body and seek changes in their current examination towns are not yielding fruits.

Their claims were corroborated by some parents and guardians who also lamented the development while urging JAMB to urgently do something about the situation.

A 17- year- old candidate posted to Ondo State said she has never travelled out of Lagos alone. “When I printed out my JAMB e-registration slip last week, I was shocked to discover that I will be writing the examination in Ondo State.

“I registered here in Lagos. I have never been to Ondo. I wonder why I have to go to Akure or Ondo town to write ordinary JAMB.

“I am confused by the whole development. I don’t know if I will still write the examination,” she said.

The mother of another aggrieved candidate ruled out the likelihood of her going to Ekiti state to write the examination.

The middle-aged woman condemned what she called the unrealistic approach of JAMB.

According to her, it is obvious that the examination body no longer understands how to go about organizing the yearly matriculation examination.

“JAMB or what is it they are called should understand how young some of these candidates are.

“My daughter is barely 18 years old and they want her to travel from Ikorodu to Ekiti just to sit for examination.

“Aside the cost implication, the danger of such trip is not worth risking by such a young child.

“They need to realize that they are scaring these children away from seeking education,” she argued on phone.

But JAMB denied sending any candidate to far flung examination towns against their wish.

Its spokesperson, Dr Fabian Benjamin, said all the candidates chose the locations they wanted to write the examination themselves.

Benjamin wondered why candidates who willingly filled the towns they are posted to while registering online will turn around to claim the body is forcing them to go to distance.

“We didn’t send candidates out of town against their wishes on our own. They chose their examination towns themselves.

“That is the truth of the matter. And to be candid, there is no fault of JAMB in any of these things you are talking about.”

Asked why new centres were not created to prevent candidates having to go far away from their bases, he said: “We didn’t do that because we didn’t want to be accused of being biased.

“We gave all the candidates the right of first refusal in choosing their examination towns. But where the centers run out quickly, we didn’t create new ones.

“In fact, I foresee a situation where somebody in Lagos will write JAMB matriculation examination in Maiduguri soon because some places will always fill up before others.

“And if we continue to make provision for more centers, somebody somewhere will say we are biased.”

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