System failure caused hitches and delays in the commencement of the 2016 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) at some centres in Lagos on Saturday.
The UTME is organised by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) and this year’s edition is expected to hold over a 14-day period in 521 centres in Nigeria and eight overseas countries.
JAMB adopted the Computer-Based Test (CBT) model for the examination.
Correspondents of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) monitoring the commencement of the examination reported that it was a mixed grill for candidates with some complaining, while others were commending JAMB.
Some of the candidates were praising JAMB for the smooth arrangement at some centres while others were pouring scorn on the board for its shoddy arrangements “from year to year’’.
The test could not start at the Digital Bridge Institute (DBI) in Oshodi as scheduled because of system failure that made accreditation of candidates to commence at 10.30 a.m. instead of 8 a.m.
A JAMB Supervisor at the DBI, Mr Stephen Ignatius, told NAN that the delay was due to a system failure from Abuja.
“Nevertheless, we will ensure that we have the exam for the 2 hours 30 minutes as stipulated by JAMB.’’
“Three hundred and fifty candidates are expected to sit for the exam at this centre,’’ he stated.
A blind candidate, who was relocated to the Yaba College of Technology, Mr Adeniyi Omoare, said there were many lapses on the part of the organisers of the examination.
Omoare expressed worry over his relocation from the DBI, lamenting that lapses on the part of JAMB could mar his performance.
“I came from Ondo State to take the test.
“But I must commend JAMB for calling me earlier to notify me of the date, time and place to take the test,’’ he said.
However, the examination was devoid of hitches at most centres in Ikorodu, near Lagos.
Mr Ayomide Fafiolu, an official at a centre at the Elihans College in Igbo-Olomu, Ikorodu, told NAN that the exercise commenced at 9.50 a.m.
“Most of the candidates arrived early at this centre, a few of them even came as early as 7.00 a.m.
“The candidates proceeded to their respective computer labs to take the examination in an orderly manner.
“We commenced the computer-based test at exactly 11.00a.m.
“We hope to stop the day’s exam at 1.42p.m.The candidates have so far conducted themselves in an orderly way.’’
Fafiolu told NAN that the centre would accommodate more than 200 candidates expected to sit for the CBT at the school conveniently.
“To ensure the exercise is not disrupted by power outages, we have deployed two generators.
“We have electricity technicians and computer engineers on standby to handle any unwarranted situation,” Fafiolu added.
At the Top Ville College in Isawo at the Ikorodu West Local Council Development Area, verification did not commence until 10.30 a.m.
A candidate, Miss Chioma Okafor, said “I got to this centre as early as 7.30 a.m.
“It was my thinking that the exam will start early but that was not the case. I have been waiting at the school’s entrance.”
NAN reports that the situation was different at the Lagos State Polytechnic (LASPOTECH) in Ikorodu.
As at 8.30a.m., neither JAMB officials nor staff of LASPOTECH was on ground to attend to candidates.
A candidate posted to LASPOTECH, Miss Ifunanya Madubuchukwu, told NAN: “I arrived here at 7.00 am. I met some people already here on my arrival but up till now we have not been able to locate anyone with useful information regarding the exam.’’
Madubuchukwu, who resides at Bariga on the Lagos Mainland, said that she relocated to Ikorodu since Thursday for the UTME.
A Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) official at LASPOTECH, who did not want to be mentioned, told NAN that many candidates were becoming restless.
“We have been here as early as 6.30 a.m. We went round the entire school and called one of the staff of the school whom we learnt is in charge of the building where the test will be held.
“We are sure the test has not been cancelled because we have called our office and have been told that the exam had started in other centres.
“We want to believe this is just a delay because of low awareness that the restriction of movement has been lifted by the Lagos State Government.”
NAN reports that two NSCDC officials were on ground at each of the centres to maintain law and order. (NAN)
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