OVER 211,000 candidates sat for the 2018 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) mock examination on Monday nationwide amid hitches in some examination centres.
Register and Chief Executive of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Professor Is-haq Oloyede, who made this known while monitoring the exercise in Abuja, said more candidates could not be accommodated because the examination was scheduled to hold a day in the 602 approved Computer Based Centres (CBT) across the nation.
Oloyede, disclosed that there were some hitches in some of the examination centres which caused some delay and hampered the smooth conduct of the examination.
However, some candidates who spoke with Nigerian Tribune, after taken the examination in some centres in Abuja, described the exercise as smooth and seamless.
The JAMB Registrar particularly frowned at the attitude of the striking members of Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities (NASU), who prevented the conduct of the mock examination at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife.
He said: “We have situation reports and know what is going on across the country. We have problems in six, seven centres across the federation. We have a problem in Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, and Bayero University Kano.
“Our exams have not been able to start in the centres and we have given the authorities 1 hour, if they do not solve the problem, we will relocate the candidates elsewhere. We also have one centre in Plateau State and another one in Taraba, where there was a crash of the laptop.
“We have a few of such centres out of the 602 centres across the country. We are monitoring what is going on and decided to come out to monitor those that are close to us. We have monitors all over the country,” he said.
Oloyede, disclosed that the Board mobilised about 2,000 non-JAMB staff in addition to 1,600 JAMB staff who were on the field making sure that the Mock was well conducted.
He warned the candidates against involvement in any form of examination malpractice, saying the Board has done all it could in ensuring smooth conduct of the mock examination and the UTME proper.
“I have visited three centres and they are all doing very fine. We only want to urge the candidates that as some of them are getting cleverer, we are getting wiser,” he said.
He noted that the Board did all it can to ensure that there was no logout during the examination, saying from investigation the Board had discovered that some candidates deliberately tamper with the systems when they discover that the questions were too difficult for them to answer.
He said the Board would not do any mop up and no second chance would be given to anybody.
He also warned the CBT Centres, particularly the private ones against extortion, saying there were situations in the past where 40 out the 250 candidates in a centre, could be logged out and the Board would rearrange them and pay for the next period.
“We have said no. Now, we are going to pay only for the successful candidates. If your computer logs anybody out, your money will also be logged out, except those who are absent. When candidates are absent, we will pay because that is not your fault.
“At the end of the exercise last year, we discovered that we had 1.7 candidates but we paid for over 2 million. We discovered that these are people who were rescheduled. They made a futile attempt and we pay you for the reschedule. Any candidates who feel that the questions are too difficult should better face it.
“Between last year and now, we have put certain things in place to ensure effective monitoring of every candidate.
“We have banned some items from being taking into the examination hall; special reading classes, and many other things we are aware some of our candidates use for illicit activities,” he said.
The JAMB urged the parents to keep away from the examination centres, saying it was not proper for parents to accompany their children to the examination centres as though they were still in kindergarten.
He lamented that a lot of parents want their children to pass at all cost and in the process connive to perpetuate examination malpractices.