JAMB Rules Out re-opening of Examination Portal
WITH pockets of protests springing up in different parts of the country by persons seeking to write the 2016 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME), the Joint Admissions and Matriculations Board (JAMB) has completely ruled out re-opening of the examination portal as date for the examination draws nigh.
The board insists that it made it clear in the advertisement for the sale of the registration documents, that the sales would close by January, but it had to shift the closure to February due to public appeal that it should be extended.
Scores of prospective applicants including persons under the aegis of Concerned and Affected JAMB UTME 2016 candidates in Edo State, last week expressed dismay at the board’s purported closure of sales of online registration access cards and online registration.
The protesters who stormed the Edo State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Press Centre in Benin said they were unable to purchase the scratch card to register for the 2016 JAMB examinations owing to this development.
Spokesperson for the protesters, Samuel Ekanem said, “We observed with dismay that three weeks to the purported closure of sales of online registration cards and online registration that there was already scarcity of cards nationwide.”
The group, which alleged that the ineffective access to online registration was as a result of limited numbers of accredited centres in the state, said that there were only 20 registration centres in Edo State.
Two days after the Benin protest, students, joined by their parents also demonstrated in Lagos to express their displeasure over the alleged sudden closure of the examination portal.
They noted that “sudden closure,” has denied the applicants a chance to sit for the 2016 examination, which is slated to take place month end.
However, in an interview with The Guardian yesterday, Head of Media, JAMB, Dr. Fabian Benjamin, said, “We have a timetable that we adhere to in the process leading up to our examination. Every step we have taken is in accordance with what we advertised. The board will not, for any reason, reopen the registration portal because we are fully aware of the game plan of some persons, who are stoking this controversy.”
Benjamin added, “We are aware that some owners of tutorial centres are in the habit of collecting monies from parents whom they promise to get their children and wards to write their examination in special centres. We have it on good authority that some of these centre owners are the ones that would go and buy the scratch cards and hoard it with the hope that JAMB would resort to late registration, which would provide an avenue for them to sell the scratch cards they hoarded for as high as 20,000.”
He continued, “Right now, if JAMB opens an additional centre, all these people that are protesting would flock to that centre and make it their special centre. Once there, they will begin to see how they can perpetrate malpractice there. It is for this and other reasons that we have designed our examination in such a way that you can only choose an examination city, but not a centre. We are the ones to assign every candidate an examination centre.”