The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) yesterday said about 1.5 million students are to sit for the 2016 University Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) across the country and eight other foreign countries.
The board explained that the 2016 UTME examination would be conducted from Saturday, February 27, 2016, while the exercise is expected to last not more than 14 days.
Speaking ahead of the examination, JAMB Registrar, Prof. Dibu Ojerinde, said: “This is the first examination we are conducting under this administration and the board want to use this opportunity to commend the federal government, the press and all stakeholders for the support it has given to the board in ensuring that its activities are successful.
“The board after the closure of registration had to reopen it portal for candidates who couldn’t complete the process of the 2016 registration to do so, however this didn’t include fresh registration. This was a 48hours grace and is expected to close by Thursday 12midnight.
“The board wants to use this opportunity to clearly state that the Federal Ministry of Education and JAMB will not be doing this again and prospective future candidates should take note as registration will close as indicated on our advertisement.”
He stated that “the board’s matriculation examination has grown to be a vitally indispensable gateway to tertiary institutions in Nigeria with a great measure of performance and integrity emulated globally in spite of increasing number of candidates and other challenges which the board’s management has consistently devised ways of addressing.
“For purposes of clarity, let me remind Nigerians that, the first Joint Matriculation Examination (JME) was held in 74 towns in Nigeria and by a special request in Gambia. A total number of 96,884 candidates were tested.
“However, the challenges in the conduct of examination became enormous as the number of candidates increased. Question papers were printed flown into Nigeria and transported in trailers escorted by security agents to the board’s office.
He explained that “the 180 cut-off point is a minimum requirement and not an indication that one is admissible. Other factors, criteria of admissions will also follow in arriving at what constitute admissible cut-off point.
“Nigerians should also note that institutions are at liberty to go higher than 180 depending on their peculiarity and this does not in anyway infringe on the powers of the board.”
On number of candidates, the board said: “A total number of 1,589,175 candidates applied for the 2016 UTME.
“In the last UTME conducted in 2015, a total of 1,475,477 candidates registered for the 2015 UTME.
“The figure for the 2016 UTME shows an increase of 113,673 applicants when compared with last year’s figure of 1,475,477.
“In addition, 343 prison inmates registered for the 2016 UTME. They will also have access to computers at both the Kaduna and Ikoyi prisons.
According to the registrar, “the examination will hold simultaneously in 521 examination centres in Nigeria and eight foreign centres, namely, Accra in Ghana, Buea in Republic of Cameroun, Cotonou in Republic of Benin, London in United Kingdom, Jeddah in Kingdom of Saudi-Arabia, Johannesburg in Republic of 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 the state capitals and the FCT.
“It is the board’s desire to ensure that no candidate is deprived of taking its examination. The examination will be conducted using the Braillenote Apex Computers for the Visually Impaired candidates in order to give them the opportunity to pursue their dreams academically.
“A total of 201 visually impaired candidates registered for this year’s examination and adequate arrangements have been provided to ensure that they partake in the examination.”
Ojerinde further stated that “the continuous determination of the board to curb the incidences of examination malpractice and other related offences, the Board will continue to use the biometric verification machine to verifying candidates before admitting them for the examination. Also, candidates will be expected to thumb-print after the examinations.
“Candidates were expected to have commenced printing of their e-registration slips as at Thursday, February 18, 2016.This slips can be printed anywhere there is an internet service.
“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.”
The board also warned candidates against “the use of handsets or any communication gadgets in and around the examination venues is prohibited. Anyone found with such gadgets would be deemed to have been engaged in examination malpractice as outlined in the provisions of the Examination Malpractice Decree No. 33 of 1999.
“The board is appealing to all examination officials to ensure that instructions are read and adhered to by candidates. They are to ensure that candidates are obliged all necessary and approved assistance in the hall to ensure a smooth conduct.
“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.
Concerning security ahead of the examination, Ojerinde said: “The board has engaged the services of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), the Nigerian Police Force (NPF), Department of State Services (DSS), Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), special security forces in security challenged areas etc. to monitor examination centres and maintain close surveillance during the examination for a peaceful and successful conduct.
“The board will equally engage the services of Independent Examination Watch Groups, to monitor the examination. The group will comprise eminent personalities including Vice-Chancellors of Nigerian universities, Rectors of polytechnics, Provosts of Colleges of Education, officials of the federal and state Ministries of Education, immediate past directors of the board, stakeholders in the education sector and other observers. It is important to mention that the groups’ reports have been of immense benefit to the board in the past; hence we are encouraged to continue engaging them.
“Candidates are hereby informed that there will be no rescheduling of any examination. Any candidate who fails to turn up for his/her examination on the date assigned has missed the examination. Please note that the examination has been programmed in such a way that rescheduling is impossible.”
He explained that “with CBT, the board is expecting examination malpractice to be reduced to the barest minimum. However, lateness to examination will not be tolerated.
“In our continued fight against examination malpractice and to ensure the credibility of our examination, we want to assure the general public that JAMB is alive to its responsibilities. I want to sound a note of warning once more to those who may be tempted to compromise our well organised arrangement that they shall be made to face the full weight of the law.
“The Board is hereby appealing to all candidates to strictly adhere to all laid down rules by conducting themselves properly during the examination,” Ojerinde warned.