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Parents, Candidates Protest Against Alleged Manipulation In 2016 UTME

By Niyi Adeyi

Some aggrieved 2016 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination candidates and their parents on Tuesday in Lagos, protested alleged manipulation of the entrance examinations.

The examination which was Computer Based Test (CBT) started fortnight ago across the country.

The candidates faulted the manner in which the examination was conducted and called for the sack of the Joint Admissions Matriculation Board (JAMB) Registrar, Professor Dibu Ojerinde.     

The protesters under the Concerned Parents and Education Stakeholders stormed the State Governor’s office, Alausa Ikeja and accused JAMB of deliberately cutting their scores, as well as swerving of marks of one candidate to another

Their grievances were further expressed through placards with various inscriptions such as, “Dibu must go; the only stumbling block in education progress”; “All we are saying give us our mark”; give us our real results”; “the Professor of test and management has outlived his usefulness”; “The Joint Admission and Manipulation Board” and others.

The aggrieved candidates attacked JAMB and its authority, saying they have lost direction as well as lacked the capacity to conduct a successful CBT in this century.

Many of the candidates who participated in the protest complained about many irregularities in the exam, such as non-release of their results or part of; receipt of different results among many others.

Meanwhile, the Association of Tutorial Schools in Nigeria has condemned the development and put the blame on the JAMB Registrar, Prof. Ojerinde.

Mr. Shodunke Olutodotun, lamented that over 10,000 candidates missed the UTME, while others had their marks deducted due to irregularities by JAMB.

In a statement issued by its National President Mr. Shodunke Olutodotun, the group informed that over 10,000 candidates missed the exam. Prof. Ojerinde, Olutodun declared has outlived his usefulness in JAMB and seemed to be more powerful than the country’s President.

He stated: “The protesters are the victims; their destinies are being finished by Dibu. Most of the protesters that had their exam in Delta State had the exam in a shrine. A lot of them got results before they sat for the exam.

“We are appealing to Governor Akinwunmi Ambode and the Speaker, Mudashiru Obasa, to send signal to Abuja to stop UTME. If they don’t do that, we will go to Abuja”.

“How will someone sit for Physics, Chemistry, Biology and the next thing he sees are Economics, Commerce and Government?” the statement asked.

In contrast, the JAMB has in turn opposed the claims by the candidates, their parents and the tutorial association.

The body’s Head of Public Relations, Dr Fabian Benajmin in a statement, responded that some proprietors, whose examination centres did not receive accreditation for the test, were behind the protest.

“The board had approved centres provided by these individuals to be used for the 2016 exercise. Unfortunately, it could not approve those centres lacking in all the indices needed for a successful CBT.

“These same proprietors turned around to organize candidates to protest against our activities. We are not perfect as an organization, but we are working hard to ensure that Nigerian education is better than it is. We have taken the risk to do the unthinkable so as to change the paradigm.

“We will continue to call on Nigerians to give us the benefits of doubt and with their collective support; we will give them one of the best CBT globally. It is no news that the worst CBT is far better than the best Paper and Pencil Test. At least, the era of candidates pouring acid on JAMB officials, bolting with question papers into the bush and all unthinkable embarrassing acts are gone”, Benajmin defended.

The controversial examination commenced in the country Saturday, February 27 and will end Saturday, March 19, 2016.


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