Friday, February 26, 2016

1.5m to write 2016 UTME as test begins Sat

Candidates during a computer–based test

• 343 prison inmates in Ikoyi, Kaduna to take part
• Exam to last 14 days in 521 centres, eight countries
AS the 2016 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) begins throughout the country tomorrow, a total of 1,589,175 candidates are expected to write the second, wholly computer-based test (CBT).
The number of prison inmates indicating interest to write the qualifying examination also rose from 208 last year to 343 this year. They will do so in Ikoyi (Lagos) and Kaduna (Kaduna) prisons.
In the 2015 examination, a total of 1,475,477 candidates registered for the test, and the 2016 figure shows an increase of 113,673 applicants over that of last year.
The 343 prison inmates that registered for the 2016 UTME, will also have access to computers at both the Kaduna and Ikoyi prisons, where they are expected to take a bold step towards acquiring tertiary education.
Topping the list of states that have contributed the highest number of candidates for the exercise is Imo State, which has 102, 727 applicants. Osun State comes in second with 83, 060 applicants while next-door neighbour Oyo is third with 81, 065 applicants. Delta, Anambra, Ogun, Enugu, Kaduna, Edo and Benue complete the first 10 highest contributors of applicants.
Conversely, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) leads the back-benchers supplying a paltry 5, 069 candidates. Zamfara State with 7, 254 and Yobe with 12, 079 complete the top three in this category. Apart from Bayelsa, which is placed eighth in this group, every other state that supplied the least number of candidates is from the North – Kebbi, Sokoto, Jigawa, Borno, Taraba and Adamawa in that order.

This year’s examination will hold simultaneously in 521 centres in Nigeria and eight countries. The foreign centres are located in Accra, Ghana, Buea in Republic of Cameroun, Cotonou in Republic of Benin, London in the United Kingdom, Jeddah in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Johannesburg in South Africa, Addis in Ethiopia and Abidjan in Cote d’Ivoire.
Visually impaired candidates are expected to take the examination at designated centres in all state capitals and Abuja. And in the board’s desire to help the visually impaired candidates fulfil their dreams of acquiring tertiary education, the examination will be conducted using the Braillenote Apex Computers. A total of 201 visually impaired candidates registered for this year’s examination and the board says adequate arrangements have been provided to ensure that they participate in the examination.
According to the Registrar/Chief Executive, Prof. ‘Dibu Ojerinde, “Following the continuous determination of the board to curb the incidence of examination malpractice and other related offences, the board will continue to use the biometric verification machine to verify candidates before admitting them for the examination. Also, candidates will be expected to thumb-print after the examinations.’’
Ojerinde, who said candidates were expected to have commenced the printing of their e-registration slips as at Thursday, February 18th, 2016, added in a statement yesterday that, “Candidates are required to come to the examination centres with their e-registration slips only. They are not allowed to come to examination halls with any writing materials.
“Candidates will be provided with scratch sheets in the examination halls. All candidates are required to provide such information as registration number, examination number and signature on the scratch sheets. Let me state here that candidates are allowed to change their choices of institutions and courses only once. This change has to be effected within two weeks after the results are released.”
While appealing to all examination officials to ensure that instructions are read and adhered to by candidates, he added that the “the board will also want to remind examination officials that the rules guiding the conduct of the examination have been included in the training manual given to them. We appeal to them to follow the steps as indicated in the manual for a hitch-free examination.’’
He further disclosed that the board had engaged the services of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), the Nigeria Police, the State Security Services (SSS), Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC), the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and other special security forces in security-challenged areas to monitor examination centres and maintain close surveillance for a peaceful and successful exercise.