By Yekeen Nurudeen
The Joint Admission and Matriculation Board, JAMB on Wednesday said it has withheld results of 76,923 candidates who sat for the just concluded Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination, UTME over allegations of examination malpractices.
Registrar of the Board, Ishaq Oloyede who disclosed this in Abuja at a press briefing said the results were being withheld for further investigations.
Oloyede who blamed what he described as the high intensity of examination malpractices on connivance between parents and Computer Based Test, CBT centers’ owners urged parents to encourage their wards to be self-reliant for them to be able to confront life challenges.
According to the Registrar some parents paid as much as N200,000 to arrange special centers for their wards while some proprietors of centers installed wireless equipment to jam the Board’s question.
But he gave assurance that JAMB was prepared to improve on the examination next year by putting in place a facility that can deactivate whatever technology that might be used to download its questions by CBT centers operators.
He also revealed that a total of 3,811 candidates who registered late for the matriculation examination would undertake a supplementary examination noting however that the Board discovered that more than 50 percent of those who are going to take the supplementary examination actually took the first one.
“At the end of the registration, 1,718,425 candidates had registered for the 2017 UTME. I did mention also that registration would continue in compliance with the directive of the House of Representatives.
“After that, 3811 candidates registered late for the examination and those people have now been harvested. We went on with the examination, those 3811 who registered when the examination was going on; we have scheduled them for examination.
“But we now found out that a number of these 3811 had actually registered before and they did another registration because they thought we had closed registration and we would not cross check.
“We have been able to cross check and we are assuring them that anyone of them whose name is found to have registered before would not be allowed to write the examination.
“Surprisingly, more than 50 percent of those who registered for the second one scored more than 220. So we felt if we had wanted to punish them is to cancel the one they have scored high, but we felt that the best thing to do is to allow them to waste the N5000 they had expended in registering for the second examination.
“So far, we have released the result within 24 hours of examination; we released 1,606,901 results after the examination leaving us with a balance of 80, 889 results.
“Out of this 80,889 we have deliberately withheld 76,923 results for further investigation because of alleged malpractices in the centers where the examinations were held.
“We do not mean that these 80,889 candidates, all of them committed infractions. We did not say so; in fact those who committed infraction may be less than 10 percent of the total number.
“When something happens in a center pending investigation to know who was involved and who was not involved, the best thing is to withhold the results of certain candidates.”
The JAMB Chief added that results of the examination would no longer be released 24 hours after it had been conducted until all issues relating to the conduct of the examination have been resolved.
“If I am in the position to conduct this examination next year, I will not release results immediately. I will take all the complaints and issues and address them. That is the best international practices but I had demonstrated to you that we have the capacity to release the result,” he said.