HomeNewsUTME: Candidates, parents decry extra charges, centre allocation

UTME: Candidates, parents decry extra charges, centre allocation

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​Less than 48 hours to the commencement of the 2017 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination , complaints of extortion , posting to distant centres and complications in printing e – slips have emerged .

Candidates who spoke with our correspondent on Thursday lamented the cancellation of their mock examination centres , payment of extra charges for corrections on their examination forms and difficulty in printing exam slips .

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This is just as the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board said that slips could be printed from its website, from candidates’ email and at computer – based test centres / cyber cafes . The board added that some mock examinations centres were cancelled because “they gave us wrong information . ’’

Registration for the 2017 UTME ended on Friday with 1 , 736 , 571 candidates , including 321 who are visually -impaired .

A candidate resident in Lagos told our correspondent that she was posted to a centre at the Federal Polytechnic, Ilaro , Ogun State .

She said , “ I am not complaining but the examination time has been fixed for 7 am . That means I have to be there early on Saturday or rent a hotel room on Friday. The additional cost is annoying . ’’

Also expressing his disappointment at the examination location of his daughter, a parent, Mr . Deji Akindele, said his daughter who registered for the UTME in Lagos was posted to a town in Kwara State .

“ I have decided that she will not take part in the examination. She will sit for it next year. While she was registering for the exam , her examination town was listed as Igboho /Saki/ Ago – Amodu in Oyo State but by the time we printed her exam slip on Thursday , the examination town was listed as Igboho/ Saki/ Ago -Amodu in Kwara State . It is so confusing . But I can never release her to go to Kwara State . I remember a newspaper story of a girl who died when she went to a town to sit for a post- UTME test , ’’ he said .

Another candidate who spoke with our correspondent said that her mock examination centre was cancelled on the examination day , without an explanation .

She said , “ I am prepared for the UTME but I am afraid that my centre may be cancelled . Nobody from my centre , Shoms International College , Odutayo , Kilo, Lagos , was able to sit for the mock examination about two weeks ago . We got there on the examination day and a woman told us that it had been cancelled . We waited , thinking that something would happen but nobody did the examination. Up till now , nobody has offered us an explanation and my fear is that this could also happen during the UTME proper . ’’

Yet another candidate , who also craved anonymity, complained that JAMB charged an extra N2 , 500 for his failing to fill his state of origin and local government area on the form . On JAMB website, it stated that “ Change of UTME subject combination is free . Changes for Name , Course /Institution , Passport and Date of Birth are 2 , 500 . ’’

He said , “ When I finished filling my form , I scrolled it up to check if I had missed out some areas and immediately I went back to submit it. I did not know that the value for state of origin and local government area that I filled had been deleted by the system . Immediately I submitted , I noted that the two values are missing and I went on JAMB website where it was stated in , the correction of data section that you have to pay N2 , 500 for any value not filled.

“ It was not my fault . There was no save button on the form and you could not return to complete it once you logged in . I went to Zenith Bank and paid but I still could not correct the error . I went back to the site and discovered that I would be able to effect the correction only after I gained admission . It is not fair because there is supposed to be a save button on the form . I see this as a deliberate act to extort Nigerians . ’’

However , the Head of Information , JAMB , has said that corrections are done immediately payment is made at the bank. He added that values such as change of course / institution , gender , date of birth , name as well as state and local government area had to be paid for .

“ There are some values , such as the date of birth that cannot be changed no matter how much you paid . Correction of subject is free. If you want to sit for Physics and you filled Mathematics , you can change it. But every other correction is not free. And, once you pay , the error is corrected . It is not true that you have to wait for admission to correct the errors .

“ Most candidates who have yet to print their examination slips have misplaced their emails . But you can print from JAMB ’ s website, from your email and from CBT centres for N100 . As for the mock examination, it was meant to test our system . About three or four centres were cancelled because they gave us wrong information . We did not charge for mock examination, ’’ he said .

Meanwhile , the JAMB Registrar , Prof Is- haq Oloyede, has said a syndicate at the Federal Government Science Technical College , Orozo, Abuja , impersonated the board and demanded N 200 from each candidate to reprint examination slips .

Oloyede , on Tuesday at a briefing on the 2017 UTME , said he called the phone number , which sent the fraudulent text message from the college , and the culprit was visibly shaken .

The registrar , while noting that JAMB would go tough on fraudsters , said the examination would hold in 624 centres across the country, with 10 invigilators attached to each centre .

He said , “We urge all candidates not to fall for the ploy of fraudsters who are out there to defraud them. A case was at the Federal Government Science Technical College , Orozo , which kept sending bulk messages to candidates to come and reprint their slips , claiming to be from JAMB .

“ This message from FGTC Orozo , which claimed to be from JAMB , reads thus … ‘ Dear UTME candidates, visit Federal Science Technical College Orozo CBT Centre for your JAMB examination slip , reprint or call this number for enquiry. ’

“ I myself called the number and challenged the person . He immediately denied when he knew who I was and said they were doing the reprinting free. But when I asked him to give the phone to any nearby student , the student confessed that he had paid N200 to have his slip reprinted . I therefore assured the fraudster that I would mention him at his briefing and he should come over and defend himself .

“ Candidates are hereby informed that there will be no rescheduling of any examination. The UTME shall begin on May 13 and end on May 20 . The examination will hold simultaneously in 624 centres in Nigeria . Each centre has no less than 10 invigilators . ”

Oloyede said a total of 1 , 736 , 571 had registered to take the examination, urging candidates to desist from malpractices as each centre would be monitored by the Closed Circuit Television .

“A total of 321 visually impaired candidates registered for this year ’ s examination and adequate arrangements have been provided to ensure that they partake in the examination, ” he added .

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