The 2021 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) may have come to an end, but the new era of the examination, heralded by the introduction of National Identity Number (NIN) for the first time will go down in history.
Despite agitations from a few that the system brought hardship for candidates, a general survey showed the introduction of NIN as a prerequisite for Joint Admissions And Matriculation Board (JAMB) and has helped to curb issue of examination malpractice.
In a quest for a solution to the menace of examination malpractice in the country, the Board has been deploying different strategies almost on annual basis to make successful conduct of the examinations.
Few years back, JAMB had migrated from paper/pencil test to the current Computer-Based Test (CBT), when it discovered massive examination fraud coupled with high level of impersonation.
The Registrar and Chief Executive of JAMB, Prof. Isha’q Oloyede had disclosed that the introduction of NIN in the 2021/2022 exam registration, helped it to uncover over 500,000 fake candidates, saying that the use of NIN as directed by the federal government helped to reduce examination malpractice.
“Before the introduction of NIN in the registration, there were about 2.2 million candidates for the examination, but after the introduction of NIN, over 500,000 candidates were discovered to be fake,” he was quoted as saying.
The examinations which began Saturday 19th June, 2021 finished on July 3rd with few centres recording hitches such as network challenges, power outage and system malfunctioning. But we observed that in majority centres, the examination went without any hitches.
The Board had already made arrangements for students who visited particular centres but could not take the examination, JAMB would reschedule a new date for them.
Asides struggle to receive the NIN Numbers, an issue National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) has to resolve, other matters were those of telecommunications and digital service providers’ poor service delivery, connectivity failure, non-reimbursement for undelivered codes generated and malfunctioning of software.
There was also frustration and disappointment over low JAMB scores. However, the Board clarified that the mass failure recorded in the 2021 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) is as a result of the ill preparedness of candidates who sat for the exams.
Despite that, parents, candidates as well as observers in the ongoing 2021 UTME, have lauded JAMB for what they described as a hitch-free exercise.
One of the candidates, Hamza Abdullahi who sat the first batch of the examination said the whole process was hitch-free, adding that there has been a lot of improvement.
“Some of the challenges was from candidates, some of them that came were not sure of their centres, while some did not reprint their slip.”
On way forward, NIMC should facilitate the NIN process and Nigerians should register on time instead of leaving things until the last minute.