Commendations, complaints as 2021 UTME kicks off nationwide
Commendations, complaints as 2021 UTME kicks off nationwide
Saturday, June 19, 2021 4:06 pm
UTME candidates at Computer Based Test Centre (File photo)
It was a mixed fortunes for candidates at different centres as the 2021Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) exercise began across Nigeria.
According to JAMB about 1.3 million candidates will participate in the examination which will take place from June 19 to July 3 in over 700 accredited Computer Based Test (CBT) centres nationwide.
Reports by News Agency of Nigeria on the monitoring of the first days of the exercise in some parts of the country indicated that candidates have different experiences in the different centres.
While some commended JAMB, others told reporters that power supply and other technical issues hampered the examination process.
For example, some candidates, who sat for the (UTME in Mararaba and some parts of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), complained of some slight technical issues at their Computer Based Centre, while some described the exercise, as peaceful and hitch-free.
They made the remarks, while speaking with a correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), who monitored the exercise in FCT and Mararaba on Saturday .
Some of the candidates stated that they were made to sit for the examination after having been thoroughly checked by JAMB officials and security agents.
At the Royal Midland CBT centre in Maraba, a candidate, Ayuba Perez, said the centre experience power outage which delayed the examination.
“The examination was calm as the environment was conducive. The way the examination was arranged coupled with the invigilating was ok.
“But there was a slight computer problem when the power was shut down and they have to start the generating set to put on the power. So this delayed the progress of the examination,” he said.
Anita Haruna, also at the Royal Midland CBT centre said the examination went smoothly. but only experienced delay when the power was shut down.
Haruna said she finished her examination successfully but only started late while praying that she comes out high flying.
Two sessions were conducted at the Royal Midland CBT centre in Maraba with 245 candidates for each sessions.
However, Mrs Queen Obepa , Supervisor for Royal Midland CBT centre lamented that the examination did not commence as scheduled but every technical hitches were however fixed.
Obepa said that not all the candidates were able to start at the same time because of the technical hitches saying that 27 candidates were delayed in writing as they did not start on time.
“We did not start on time as the generator had issues and we have resolved it. We were here yesterday and everything worked well but on getting here today, we experienced this problem.
“The generator shut down and it took time to bring it back so we wasted like one hour to fix it.
“This centre has 245 candidates for the morning session and 245 for the afternoon session.
“ We couldn’t capture one person so he was asked to go back and contact JAMB and we also have somebody that came in late and she was not able to write the examinations,” she said.
However, at the Global Distance Learning Centre in FCT, candidates commended JAMB for the quick response in attending to issues during the examination.
However, a candidate at the centre, Aisha Mouhktar told NAN that the examination went smoothly without any problems.
Mouhktar said that the examination started as expected and candidates were thoroughly checked in for the examinations saying that there were no technical problems.
“We were given instructions on how to start. The examination was good as expected as there were no technical issues.
“At this centre only a candidate that couldn’t submit his questions and prompt action was immediately taken to help him out,” she said.
Speaking with newsmen, Mr Abdulrahman Balogun, JAMB High Power Opinion Leaders said some centres he monitored had technical issues while some were free from technical issues.
Balogun who is also the Special Assistant Media to Mrs Abike Dabiri, the Chairman of Nigerians in Diaspora Commissions (NIDCOM) commended the progress of the examination.
“Some are having technical issues like the Junior Secondary School in Jikwoyi. For almost one and half hour, the system packed up so they have to quickly bring in some of their technical staff to ensure on it.
“ As at the time I left the place at 9:18 a.m. they are still working on it which means they have not started as they said they want them to start at the same time.
“ If not they would have allowed those that their systems are working to start but coming to Global Distance Learning the story is different. The systems are working, arrangements were so perfect the facilities were in good shape and it is a good effort for JAMB,” he said.
He commended the board for the initiative of mock examinations as it was able fix any problems that may likely occur as the board had anticipated some of these problems and fixed them so they have backup for it.
“We really have to commend the board for the work doing in terms of anticipating challenges and they are able to fix it in time.
“There were no malpractice from the centres I have monitored. I was also interested in that aspect which I specifically asked them if there were any instance of malpractice and nothing of such.
“The students were well behaved before they go into the examination hall. JAMB already tutored them and screen them and after the screening they can go in so there are no malpractices.
Global Distance Learning Centre had 195 candidates for the first session of the examinations with five absentees.(NAN)
Dinatu Abraham, a candidate at the JAMB CBT centre in Kogo, Bwari said she did her best since she had acquired all necessary knowledge on especially, the use of computer.
She said she was sitting for the examinations for the first time and had challenges while using the system during the recently conducted mock exercise.
She, however, said she was fully prepared for the main examination, which she hoped would yield a positive result.
Abraham, also described the conduct of the exercise at the centre as well organised and commended the board for the effort put in to ensure a smooth process.
” Everyone is treated by the officials without any preference but with strict adherence to the rules and regulations as stated before the exercise.
” We were searched and scrutinised to make sure no one is carrying any of the banned items and so far, I did not hear of complaints, about the computers being non functional.
“I, for one, am sure to score high because I believe the questions were be favourable.”
Adejoh Godwin, another candidate, who sat for the exams at the same centre said he believed the efforts he put in preparing for the examination would give him a positive result.
According to him, the process is smoothly conducted by officials at the centre and while he hoped that the results would favour him, he also prayed to gain admission with the outcome.
Similarly, Sim Moses, another candidate told NAN that she was satisfied with the questions as they were not exactly what she expected but what she prepared for before the examination.
“The questions were from the syllabus and fair though not exactly from past examination questions but they were in the same direction.
“I am sure to score high marks because I know I read well for this examination.
“I also appreciate the entire process, the exercise was timely, I didn’t have any problems with my computer and those who did were attended to swiftly by the officials. “
In Lagos, candidates writing the (UTME) asked the government and other stakeholders to strengthen security around schools so as not to jeopardise quest for education.
The candidates were expressing their concerns in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) shortly after the day-one of the examination in some centres visited in Lagos.
Miss Emmanuela Onah, who said she hoped to study Medicine at the Babcock University in Ogun, said that she was looking forward to an excellent performance at the examination.
Onah is, however, worried about the increasing level of insecurity bedeviling the country.
According to her, the increasing attack on schools is becoming worrisome and could affect the zeal for the quest for knowledge acquisition among children of school age.
Another candidate, Chidera Mbagwu, remarked that education was the right of every child and, therefore, the need for government to do everything possible to improve facilities and other learning aids in schools, especially the universities and polytechnics.
She noted that constant attacks on schools by gunmen must be confronted headlong if the country must realise its quest for accelerated development.
Hoping to study Law, Mbagwu was optimistic that the issue of security in the country generally would improve soon in order to restore normalcy in every sector of the economy.
“Right now, I have just taken the examination but my hope and prayer is for all these kidnappings and killings, both in and outside school environment, to stop because it is threatening our existence as a people and dampening our quest for higher learning,’’ she said.
Paula Wilson, another candidate who sat for the examination, emphasised the need for governments at both the state and local government levels, to partner the Federal Government in building skills acquisition centres in all schools across the country.
According to Wilson, who equally wished to study Medicine, said that there was the need for students to start looking inward and embrace critical thinking to discover their God given skills for a secured future.
“For me, I think gone are such days when people used to rely heavily on their academic qualifications to make it in life.
“All that have changed now, going by the situations we find ourselves in now.
“I want to urge governments, at all levels, to assist us in the direction of skills so that we can engage ourselves meaningfully and be able to fend for ourselves, without waiting for any job opportunity.
“This, to my belief, will go a long way in reducing poverty, unemployment, restiveness and other vices among youths,’’ she stated.)
Also, some candidates and centre officials for the 2021 (UTME in Enugu lauded the Joint Admissions and Matriculations Board (JAMB) for the hitch free conduct of the examination.
Speaking to NAN on Saturday in Enugu, the Centre Administrator at Judith Foundation Centre at Amechi, Awkunanaw, Mr JohnFred Nnaji said he rated JAMB 99 per cent for their efficiency in this year’s CBT.
According to him, there were no computer breakdown, power and network failure at the centre.
“We have 500 candidates in this centre and 250 candidates are currently taking their exam while the remaining 250 will take theirs by 9am.
“We maintain the necessary measures stipulated by the examiner.
“They have been addressed and told what is expected of them. We have equally checked their temperatures and ensured they washed their hands, wear face mask before entering inside the hall,” he said.
Nnaji said the centre had 275 computers, 250 for candidates and 25 for backup in case anyone failed.
“Some JAMB officials and centre technicians came this morning to check the system and I can assure you that we have never encountered any network challenge or system breakdown.
“There are functional power supply and adequate security in the centre as well as cameras to catch any candidate who try to cheat,” he added.
A candidate, Miss Kosisochukwu Igwedibia said she did not experience any issue throughout the exam.
“This has shown that JAMB has changed for good unlike last year many people complained of network failure and other issues,” she said.
Esther Ipuole said JAMB has improved from what she used to hear about them.
“The systems were working faster and I finished before time.
“I expect 100 per cent performance because I take my time to go through the questions many times,” she said.
She appealed to the exam umpire to always ensure that students wrote the exam once without resiting.
Celestine Isaiah lamented that questions on Literature-in-English were tough making it difficult for him to finish before time.
“Everything were moving on well until I get to Literature and it became a big challenge to me because we didn’t read some of the novels and poems,” Isaiah said.
Meanwhile, an official of JAMB who pleaded anonymity said the board made their system and operation easier for candidates to write CBT without hindrance.
“This is why we allow them take mock exam before this one to prepare them and even this morning we have taught them how to use mouse,” he said.
Some candidates, at the University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus (UNEC) TETFUND CBT Centre expressed their satisfactions with the process.
They said it was hitch-free when compared to the 2020 UTME in some centres in the state.
Miss Charity Ezeji, a candidate said the whole process was perfect as there was no interruption with the network.
Mr Chijioke Onyema, another candidate applauded the JAMB for their effort in making the exercise a success.
Miss Joy Nwagbo, at the UNEC CBT Centre said she was pleased with the exam as the process was conducted under a smooth atmosphere.
“Operators at the centre were cooperative and attended to as many candidates that needed their attention,” she said.
Earlier, one of supervisors at the centre, Mrs Ifeakanwa Agbala urged the candidates to be law abiding once they go into the examination hall, adding that they should not go in with any incriminating materials.
“Every candidate should make sure they only go into the exam hall with their examination slip and pencils and as well concentrate on their work,” she urged.
Agbala, who is a Lawyer from UNEC and assisting in supervising the UTME examination called on all the candidates to be sure of their centres, as well as their examination dates so as not cause confusion in examination centres.,
“Candidates should please check their time-table properly to avoid confusion in the exam hall, for those of you who came thinking that today is your date, please go and be sure when you are to sit for your exam,” she pleaded.
She said there was a standby generator in case of power failure during the examination, adding that security was optimal.
Mr Nonso Nwune, the JAMB Technical Staff said that those who came late would not be allowed to sit for the examination as the number of candidates whose names were captured before entry the exam hall were the ones allowed to take the exam.
Nwune revealed that the network was perfect as there were no challenges with the computers at the centre.
Mr Chima Ilo, the Technical Engineer of the University CBT centre told NAN that only two sessions would be involved on the first day.
Ilo said that a total of 500 candidates were expected to sit for the UTME examination at the UNEC Centre on the first day, adding that 250 candidates per batch were to be present.
“The first batch was supposed to be 250 candidates but we had 240 that are sitting presently, which means that 10 candidates are not at the exam centre,” he said.
The first batch started at 8:15 am and ended at 10:15am, while the second batch got into the centre at 10:25.
Security personnel were at the centre checking in the candidates into the examination centre to avoid coming in with incriminate material.
Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps personnel, who spoke on condition of anonymity said that the process was going on smoothly as the candidates were complying with the security orders.
It was a similar story in some centers at the Institute of Management and Technology (IMT), Abakpa Nike and Ngwo in Udi Local Government Area as candidates expressed satisfaction with the examination conduct.
Meanwhile, some parents and candidates bemoaned the poor time management by most centers.
It was gathered that the first round of the examination scheduled for 7am started between 8am and 8.30am while the second batch began between 11am and 12 noon.
The parents, who hailed the conduct of the UTME, called for proper time management by JAMB.