The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, JAMB, has expressed satisfaction over the conduct of its Mock Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination, UTME, in 757 centres nationwide.
The board’s Head, Media and Information, Dr Fabian Benjamin, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, on Saturday in Lagos.
A total of 1.8 million candidates registered for this year’s main UTME.
According to Benjamin, not less than 175, 000 candidates participated in Saturday’s mock examination nationwide.
“I want to say we are satisfied with the conduct of today’s examination. It is to test run our facilities in the various accredited centres. The positive feelers we got from centres are beyond our expectations.
“I monitored the examination in Abuja and with reports we got from the field across the country showed that everything went on seamlessly.
“However, we are not taking the success recorded in today’s examination for granted because most of these centres operated below capacity. We will not leave any stone unturned to ensure that we get maximum result during our main examination scheduled for May.
“The board will continue to work assiduously to further scrutinise approved centres for the examination in a bid to ensure that all expectations are met,” he assured.
NAN reporters who monitored the examination report that the accreditation of candidates commenced as early as 7 a.m. in some centres.
At the WAEC Test and Training Centre, Ogba, candidates for the examination started their accreditation at exactly 7 a.m.
It comprised of Centre One and Centre Two. Centre One had 138 candidates while 137 candidates sat for the examination in Centre Two.
An official at the centre who preferred anonymity told NAN that the examination commenced at about 8:20 a.m. in both centres.
“I must say the examination has been hitch-free. All the systems are functioning to full capacity and the facilities are top-notch.
“We started the examination according to schedule and so far everything has been seamless.
“However, some candidates for the examination reported late. They came in while the examination was already underway and we had no choice than to turn them back. It is not allowed,” the official noted.
At another centre, Wisdom House, on Yaya Abatan Road, Ogba, which hosts two centres, the situation was not the same, as there was a technical hitch.
Mrs Amina Haruna, a Technical officer/Supervisor in charge of Centre Two, said that the generator refused to work at the commencement of the accreditation of candidates for both centres.
Haruna said that the development led to the late commencement of the examination at the centre.
“We had a challenge of having the generator started, so that we can commence our examination in earnest.
“After much efforts, the problem was fixed and the candidates did their accreditation, followed by the examination. Some systems too were having issues.
“The examination started at about 9:17 a.m. here and everything settled in. We have a total of 152 candidates participating in the examination in this centre.
“Aside the initial challenge, I will say that the examination went well. Although, we are not operating at full capacity now and so, we may not be able to feel the impact of these challenges now.
“Having said this, I will want to urge centre owners to be on their toes by ensuring that their centres and facilities therein, are all top notch.
“This is to ensure that candidates don’t run into any form of avoidable challenges during the main examination. The board on its own had provided every necessary support to create an enabling environment for their operations to thrive,” she said.
Mr Sunday Ajiboye, an invigilator at Centre One of the Wisdom House, said a total of 140 candidates turned in for the examination.
At the Yaba College of Technology (Yabatech) Centre, NAN further reports that a total of 160 candidates participated at the examination. The examination which commenced at 8:30 a.m., was concluded at exactly 10: 30 a.m.
An official at the centre also told NAN that the examination was hitch-free, while expressing optimism that the main examination would record huge success, following the excellent state of facilities on ground.
Other centres visited are ADAMSPRING Centre Ijanikin and Brain Builders Centre, Idimu Road, Egbeda.
Mr Billianu Shittu, JAMB’s coordinator in Lagos, said a total of 71 centres were used for the examination in the state.
According to him, the essence of the examination was to identify technical flaws where available and tackle them as quickly as possible.
“The essence is to perfect all the gadgets that will be deployed during the main examination in May and some other new things we have introduced.
“We even deployed members of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corp (NSCDC) not just to ensure order and peace around the centres, but also to test run the scanners.
“We are using 71 centres for this examination across Lagos and we are optimistic that come the main examination, as usual, it will be seamless,” Shittu told NAN.
Some candidates who participated at the examination and who simply gave their names as Eniola, Prudence and Mariam expressed satisfaction at the conduct of the examination.
According to them, the process was seamless without any challenge in launching their browsers as they had been practising on their own prior to the examination.
They also commended the board for providing the enabling environment for both the candidates and the centres to thrive in the examination.