The Patriot Institute of Journalism and Arts (PIJA), Lance Magazine is a public-centric independent media organisation dedicated to fighting injustice, fostering social justice and community development through the telling and retelling of the marginalised-oriented stories.
The Association of Tutorial School Operators (ATSO) has urged the Joint Admissions and Matricuation Board (JAMB) to re-mark or cancel this year’s Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME).
At a briefing recently in Bariga, Lagos, National President of the association, Mr. Dotun Shodunke described this year’s UTME as the worst, error-filled and a disgrace.
“Let me state categorically, without equivocation that the UTME 2021 is the worst conducted UTME in so many years. In fact, it is a total charade and the Association of Tutorial School Operators (ATSO) rejects it in totality. Every facet of the conduct of the UTME 2021 was marred by serious irregularities ranging from unnecessary frustration of candidates, extortion of candidates, serious glitches and malfunctions in computers and other equipment at the centres, multiple results, denying candidates the right to write the exam, subjecting candidates to danger and risks, etc. We have all the necessary evidence to back up our claims.”
Speaking on the mass failure, Shodunke blamed the examination body for errors in the initial results released as candidates reported getting multiple results, challenging its Registrar, Prof. Is-haq Oloyede, to re-mark the scripts to prove a point.
“I challenge you, Sir, with your spokesperson to please get a consultant, prove to Nigerians that you did not fail these children deliberately. Get a consultant I must be there too. Get at least 20 students, their scripts print it out at least you will have the record on your server let an independent person remark. We all know the questions and answers. Let them remark if they score the same thing, I am telling the whole Nigeria, the 20 students. Please, Sir, don’t take me to court, Let me serve two years in jail,” he said, adding that if he was proven right, then the Registrar should resign.
Shodunke blamed JAMB for releasing conflicting results and changing the Literature in English syllabus very late.
“Candidates were getting results that belong to other people. It was so bad. Jamb had to quickly suspend that policy again. Yet we still have cases of multiple results for candidates”.
“JAMB’s policy summersault in Literature in English syllabus is another sore point in the exam. A lot of Literature students cried out of the examination hall. They had prepared adequately with the new syllabus released by JAMB itself but they found out too late that Jamb had resorted to the setting questions from the old syllabus that was supposed to lapse by 2020”. He added.
ATSO President also accused JAMB of fleecing candidates through multiple charges from the purchase of form until they are admitted in the name of revenue generation.
“JAMB is the only examination body in modern world that will charge candidates for printing the results of the exam they fully paid for. Candidates will part with N1,000 to print results on JAMB portal. JAMB is the only examination body in the modern world that charge as high as N2,500 for each error a candidate wishes to correct on his portal. JAMB charges N2,500 if a candidate wishes to change his or her choice of institution or course. JAMB has now taken pride in announcing humongous revenue generated for government by fleecing poor Nigerians of their hard-earned income. Enough is just enough”.
However, ATSO was not all about blaming the board. Shodunke said the association had suggestions that could ease the registration process – including giving a longer period for registration.
“If JAMB would listen to our advice, we are ready to suggest solutions that will be the panacea to the problems bedeviling the conduct of UTME. One of such is that JAMB should give adequate time for registration. What is the essence of a one-month registration window that will always bring untold hardship? At least a four-month registration window should be considered. Registration can start in November and close by March/April. All impediments to successful registration will be cleared within this period, paving the way for a successful examination. The candidates themselves will have enough time to prepare for the exam,” Shodunke said.
During a recent interview, Oloyede blamed the poor performance in the examination on COVID-19 disruptions.