The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has assured admission seekers of a hitch-free 2023 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME).
The board has just concluded plans to begin the admission process on February 14.
JAMB Registrar, Prof. Ishaq Oloyede, gave the assurance while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the sidelines of a meeting with Commissioners of Education of the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) yesterday in Lagos.
Oloyede said the board had put machinery in place to tackle most of the challenges recorded during the conduct of the past examinations.
“Today’s meeting is to brief the commissioners on our level of preparedness for the upcoming examination and to seek their kind support, as critical stakeholders, to ensure that the exercise is a huge success.
“Recall that this meeting is usually held every examination year with the commissioners to brief them on what we are doing as it concerns the entire examination process, making it inclusive, robust and interactive, as much as we can.
“Again, we disclosed to the commissioners how their states are faring, especially to encourage them in our appeal for collaboration for the establishment of world-class Computer Based Test (CBT) centres nationwide.
“We showed them the result of the 2023 centre accreditation for the conduct of the examination nationwide, which proved that just a total of 600 centres have been approved, out of the over 800 that applied,” he said.
According to him, the approved figure is 140 less than the total number used for the same exercise in 2022.
Oloyede noted that the implication of this was that there would be a sharp drop in the number of personnel that would be engaged for the entire examination process.
“If you calculate the 10 workers being used per centre, you will understand the magnitude of what I have just explained,” he said.
The JAMB boss said the commissioners had appealed that they would be glad to see the inadequacies of the centres, particularly the public ones, to see if they could intervene.
He said the commissioners had also been asked to join hands with the board in the fight against examination malpractice.
Also, JAMB’s Director of Media and Protocol, Dr. Fabian Benjamin, assured all stakeholders that there would be no clash between the board’s examination and the forthcoming election.
“Like we all know, it is an election year. But we have lined up our activities in such a way that it will not be affected by the elections.
“So, I want to seize this opportunity too to tell prospective candidates and members of the public generally that there will be no clash.
“The commission, whose job it is to conduct the elections, has the capacity, just like the board, to carry out their separate functions effectively without one disturbing the other,” he said.
Some of the commissioners told NAN that the initiative was a welcome development, adding that it was fruitful.
Anambra State Education Commissioner, Mrs. Ngozi Chuma Ude, described Oloyede as a trailblazer who had invested so much to revolutionalise examination process in the country.
“I want to commend the registrar for what he is doing in a bid to sanitise the education system.
“JAMB has indeed set a record. This meeting is to keep us abreast with the activities of the board and it is worth commending.
“The major take-home here for me is how to partner the board to tackle the ugly trend of examination malpractice.
“Corruption has been enshrined in the conduct of examination in this country, especially public examinations, that at a certain stage, people began to lose hope in the UTME, which is why they found it necessary to introduce the Post-UTME.
“But as we speak, faith on the UTME is being renewed, going by the huge investments and other initiatives put in place by the current registrar,” she said.
Enugu State Education Commissioner, Prof. Uche Eze, described the meeting as the way to go, especially as it concerned examination malpractice in public examinations in the country.
“Since I became commissioner, this is the first time I will be having this kind of interaction with JAMB.
“As you may know, commissioners are the major stakeholders when it comes to the UTME, which is a yearly ritual.
“They are in charge of the schools and the students who register and write the examination.
“So, it is not out of place to carry them along, get them properly informed about their activities as it concerns the entire exercise.
“This will enable them to have firsthand information that will guide and assist the students concerning the task ahead.
“Therefore, I will describe what has happened here today as an excellent initiative, as we are more informed of the activities of the board, as well as areas for collaboration and intervention,” he said.