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JAMB UTME Exam Challenges: The Need for Options and Reforms

JAMB UTME Exam Challenges: The Need for Options and Reforms

The Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) recently conducted the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) for over 1.6 million candidates from April 25 to May 4, 2023. However, the exercise started with technical glitches that affected candidates in most of the accredited centers. As a result, JAMB rescheduled the exam for about 80,000 candidates in 100 centers across the country.

The challenges encountered were partly due to the novel features deployed by the board to prevent exam misconduct. However, according to some examination centers’ coordinators, the glitches were also due to the non-testing of the new software introduced by JAMB to determine its compatibility with various computer systems.

These issues disrupted the exam for affected candidates and their parents, leading to disappointment and frustration. It is not the first time that the UTME has been marred by hitches and other challenges, and JAMB needs to review its arrangement.

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Although the use of technology is essential in conducting examinations, JAMB should consider other options following years of experiments and complaints. For instance, JAMB can use paper-based tests alongside the current CBT method to accommodate candidates with different circumstances.

The modus operandi of JAMB and the conduct of the exams need to be revisited, and all accredited centers should be screened to ensure that they are ready and capable of conducting the exercise. JAMB must also re-accredit all examination centers and weed out those that are technically deficient to ensure a smooth and hitch-free examination.

While we commend JAMB for its efforts in combating impersonation and cancelling the registrations of candidates who infringed on the exam rules, the ICT-enhanced system of the examination body should be subjected to constant review until it is properly fortified to save candidates, parents, and guardians from physical, emotional, and financial stress.

JAMB should prioritize conducting credible, seamless, and stress-free examinations over remitting money to the federal government. The funds generated can be better utilized in building a robust system critical to the present and future of our country. As a body responsible for organizing the exam, JAMB must find a way to deal with the challenges and organize a hitch-free exam.

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