The 2019 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME), organised by the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), kicked off across the country, yesterday, with logistic and technical hitches recorded in a few Computer-Based Test (CBT) Centres used for the conduct of the examination.
Some candidates praised JAMB while others narrated their experiences with the UTME, at some centres, in Abuja and elsewhere.
Over 1.8 million candidates who registered for the UTME are expected to sit for the examination from April 11 to April 15 in the 698 CBT centres across the country.
There was confusion at 3MS Multi-Dynamic Services, a computer-based test centre in Jos, Plateau State, where the centre operator, Augustine Omogbe, was accused of ‘deceiving’ JAMB on the number of available computers at his centre.
The CBT centre, located close to the National Library in the capital city, was also reported to have experienced breakdown of about 50 laptops; due to non-availability of power packs.
The development, apart from causing late commencement of the examination at the centre, also made many candidates panic.
The rancorous situation led to the invitation of the police who later restored order.
JAMB Coordinator in the state, Said Yusuf, who confirmed the technical problems, also revealed that the centre’s Technical Officer, Ahmed Rasaq, who was arrested over the matter, had been released. Yusuf said he had told the centre operator to purchase more power packs for the laptops to ensure smooth conduct of the examination.
“Yes the report (arrest) is true but we have settled it. The proprietor has a business issue with some people and since they know UTME would be holding today (yesterday), they seized the opportunity to create confusion. The matter is settled and normalcy has returned,” he said.
Meanwhile, in a similar development, at the Oduduwa College of Professional Studies along Egbeda-Idimu Road in Lagos, the first set of candidates who were expected to finish the examination by 10:00am could not start as at 11.41am.
At the Global Distance Learning CBT centre in Abuja, a candidate, Major Okeke, said the examination was well coordinated and commended JAMB for a smooth conduct.
“It did not take long before I got inside my examination hall; after proper checking at the gate. The stipulated time for the exam is 120 minutes, which is 2 hours, but, I was able to use 1 hour 30 minutes for my examination. The atmosphere was cool and calm which, if JAMB can sustain, will add to the success of candidates,” he said.
Okeke said some computer systems, however, were either not working or malfunctioning. He advised that adequate inspection of the systems be made before subsequent examinations; and also, called for “the installation of up-to-date systems to enable candidates write the examination without any hitch.”
Another candidate, Jenifer Adeoye, who also sat for the examination at the centre, said the examination was conducted in a serene atmosphere. She added that just few candidates experienced technical hitch.
Also, at the Global Distant Learning Centre, opposite the Federal Ministry of Finance, in Abuja, the official on duty confirmed that some Physics questions had no options as the spaces for options appeared blank on the computers.
The same experience was recorded at ECWA College of Technology, Jos.
At Wisdom House CBT centre in Ogba, Lagos, examination commenced as scheduled; without hitches.
Meanwhile, in other centres across many states, many independent observers confirmed a smooth and peaceful process.
The UTME commenced across the country, yesterday, and is billed to continue till Wednesday, April 17, when the visually impaired candidates would be taking part.