Since this year’s Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination started on February 27, many things – some weird – have happened in the life of the 38-year-old examination body.
First, it was the “miracle” scores where some candidates, especially those who wrote in the first week of the exam, were arbitrary awarded 40 marks more than 24 hours after their original score had been sent to their mobile phones by JAMB.
Now candidates who wrote during the last weeks of the exam are now complaining that JAMB has been allegedly reducing their scores. Some of the candidates claim that it was a deliberate attempt by JAMB to make some candidates fail such that their won’t be many passes owing to the 40 marks and relatively easier questions given to the first set of candidates for the 2016 UTME.
Today, some candidates, who wrote the 2016 Unified Tertiary Matriculations Examination (UTME) Computer Based Test (CBT), took their grievances to the Lagos State House of Assembly in Alausa, Lagos yesterday. They faulted the “wrong scores” released by the Joint Admissions Matriculation Board (JAMB) for the examination.
They questioned the integrity of the results released by JAMB since some candidates had 40 marks added and others had marks deducted from their original scores.
The candidates chanted statements like “give us our real marks”; “This cannot be our real marks”; “Dibu must go”; “Our systems went off during exam and nothing was done about it.”
Addressing the protesting candidates, the Majority Leader of the House, Sanai Agunbiade told them that they were in the right place to lodge their complaint and assured them that their case would be taken to the appropriate quarters.
However, JAMB claimed that the protest was fuelled by “education consultants, whose CBT centres were disqualified from running the UTME for not meeting quality standard.
Apart from the ‘miracle’ scores, this year’s UTME, which ends next Tuesday, has also witnessed other hiccups. The other challenges range from system failure, to lack of answers in the available options, among others.
In fact, a parent, Mr. Julius Ugwu, is planning to petition the board over the alleged system failure that occurred with the computer his son used for the examination at Ikotun Comprehensive College, Lagos on February 27.
His son, alongside many other candidates, the entrepreneur said, could not go half way into the examination because of the challenge.
He said, “I shall write a petition to the board to protest against what happened on that day. We should not allow the inefficiency in the system to affect the young ones. I cannot explain why there should be system failure during the examination.
“It could not have been naivety or inexperience that brought the system failure for my son as some people may want to claim. Before now, he had been exposed to computer system. In fact, he has a personal computer at home.”
On how to remedy the situation, Ugwu asked JAMB to repeat the examination. According to him, what is unfolding points to the fact that the board did not prepare well for the exercise.
He added, “How can the board explain this arbitrariness in scores? How can they explain the system failure many candidates experienced and are experiencing in the ongoing examination? I think there is the need to reassess the candidates.”
An educationist, Mrs. Bamidele Fashokun, also canvassed the cancellation of the examination. Frowning on the allocation of the 40 marks to every candidate, the educationist said it was not a good way of assessing them.
“If JAMB cannot organise and conduct the CBT well, it should return to the paper-pencil examination. I know of candidates that applied to sit for the examination in Lagos and they were posted to as far as Warri, Delta State, for the exercise. In fact, one of my relations was posted to Ore, Ondo State, for this examination.
“On the day he sat for the test, we had to leave Lagos as early as 5am to keep to the examination time. At the centre, many candidates came late for the exercise because they came from distant places. Why move candidates entirely outside of the state where they applied to sit for the examination?” she asked.
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