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Jostling for 500,000 admission spaces in varsities begins tomorrow

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Jostling for 500,000 admission spaces in varsities begins tomorrow.

All is set for the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination being conducted by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB). It will kick-off tomorrow. BISI OLADELE, IBADAN, FRANK IKPEFAN, ABUJA, NWANOSIKE ONU, AWKA, OGOCHUKWU ANIOKE, ABAKALIKI, FUNMILAYO OJOYE-KEHINDE, LAGOS, KOLADE ADEYEMI, JOS, ABDULGAFAR ALABELEWE, KADUNA, TOBA ADEDEJI, OSOGBO and DUKU JOEL, DAMATURU, report.

About 1,837,011 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) candidates will begin jostling for the 500,000 admission spaces in public universities in the country from tomorrow. The examination, which is computer-based, will be conducted in 645 centres approved by JAMB nationwide. The examination will last for nine days (from May 6 to 14).

Of the 1,837,011 registered candidates, 1,769,197 registered for UTME and 100,153 registered for the direct entry examination.

Last year, the board registered 1,338,687 candidates for the UTME and 75,328 for direct entry.

For those sitting for the examination, the board has handed down rules that candidates should obey.

The board warned candidates against bringing electronic gadgets and other unauthorised materials like eyeglasses (unless recommended); USB, fez caps, calculator, tape recorder, camera, wristwatches, bangles, and cell phones, among others, into the examination hall.

It said these items remained banned in the examination hall during the conduct of the UTME.

The board said these through its Head, Public Affairs and Protocols (PAP), Dr. Fabian Benjamin.

Arrival at exam venues

The examination body admonished candidates to arrive at the venues of their examination one hour before its commencement. Benjamin said this would afford the candidates the opportunity to go through biometric verification prior to their admittance into the examination hall.

He warned that any candidate who is 30 minutes late into the examination venue would not be allowed to sit for the examination.

The JAMB spokesperson advised candidates to strictly adhere to the examination schedule as stated in their notification slips, which would be made available to them in due course and would feature the venue, scheduled date, session and time of the examination.

“All candidates are required to be seated only in the allotted seats assigned to them and should follow the instructions as issued out to them by the examination officials and should not attempt to leave the examination hall until one hour after the commencement of the examination,” he said.

Adhering strictly to examination etiquette

Benjamin reminded the prospective candidates of the need to adhere strictly to the examination etiquette, warning that a stiff penalty awaited anyone who ran afoul of the laid-down rules and regulations governing the examination. He reiterated the zero-tolerance of the board for examination infractions and other unwholesome practices that could undermine the sanctity of its examination.

He maintained that as a responsible organisation, the board was, as usual, committed to providing a level-playing field for all candidates in the upcoming UTME.

Benjamin said: “The board’s UTME, apart from being a medium for assessing candidates’ ability, is also used to rank their performance in a cohort of aspirants for tertiary education.”

The UTME, as a standardised test, is guided by rules and regulations that must be strictly followed by both the examiners and candidates to arrive at a valid and specific objective, he said.

He went on: “Examination etiquette is encapsulated in the candidates’ code of conduct comprising rules and regulations that must be followed by all candidates before, during and after the examination.”

Candidates and CBT centres preparation

The Nation’s correspondents visited some centres across the country to know the adequacy of preparation made by them, in terms of processes and criteria put in place for a safe and a well-equipped environment for candidates writing the exams.

100 NSCDC officers deployed for exam in Osun

Ahead of the test, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Osun State, has deployed over 100 officers across the CBT centres.

Its spokesperson, Olabisi Atanda, in an interview with The Nation, warned impostors to stay clear of the JAMB CBT centres in the state, vowing to deal with them legally.

She said: “We are deploying 100 officers and men. They are to guide against all forms of misconduct, impersonation and exam malpractices.

“No matter the antics employed by unscrupulous persons bent on frustrating the policies of the government and dispossessing Nigerians of their property, the long arms of the law would get at them and justice will be served.”

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In an interview, a candidate, Faith Makinde, said: “I am a bit nervous because this is my first time of writing the exam but I am well-prepared to sit for the exam. I have been attending extra classes in preparation to sit for the exam.”

At some of the centres visited in Osogbo, Osun State capital, it was observed that the officials of the centres were putting the vicinity in order by cleaning and clearing the bushes around the area. Some of the places visited included the CBT centre at Service Area, Agunbelewo and Technical College along Capital area of Osogbo.

UI DLC, Amanda ready for UTME in Oyo

UI DLC, Amanda ready for UTME in Oyo

The University of Ibadan Distance Learning Centre (UIDLC), Ibadan, Oyo State, stated that it’s fully prepared for the UTME. Its Director, Prof. Emmanuel Omobowale, told The Nation that the centre was well-prepared for the examination, pointing out that JAMB had already inspected the centre.

He said: “We are prepared for the examinations. Everything is in place. There is no problem as regards UI DLC CBT. We have three halls of 500 capacity each, making our centre perhaps the largest around. In fact, we serve as a kind of back-up for JAMB because if there are issues with any other centre in Ibadan, JAMB moves the candidates to our centre. We are fully ready. Our centre is definitely the place to be when talking about CBT exams in Ibadan.”

At Amanda CBT Centre, Oluyole Ibadan, Oyo State, an official of the school, who said he was not authorised to speak because the proprietor was not around, said the centre was prepared for the examination. He added that their facilities were intact and ready for candidates to use.

He noted that the centre wouldn’t have been given permission by JAMB to conduct the examination, if they were not qualified.

He, however, said he could not speak on the total figure of candidates expected for the examination, saying that JAMB office was in the best position to speak on that.

Operators keep mum in Lagos

The Nation visited two accredited CBT centres at the Yaba and Onike.

On getting to the CBT centre at the Yaba College of Technology, our correspondents were directed to the office of the Director of CITM, who was said to be in charge of matters concerning the exams. The Nation was refused access to her on the ground that she was not available and that there was no prior appointment.

At The Human Development Initiatives CBT Centre, Onike, it was gathered that a mock examination for JAMB was ongoing there. The centre’s manager also refused to grant an interview, directing The Nation to go to JAMB Office in Lagos.

Centres, candidates ready in Kaduna

In Kaduna, Kaduna State, the CBT centres and candidates are ready for the examination.

The Nation, however, observed that some CBT centres had been shut by the authorities due to irregularities and technical failure in the conduct of the previous UTMEs.

Our correspondent observed that many candidates were trooping to CBT centres to print their slips to know their centre and seat number.

At one of the centres visited, Malam Umar Faruq Memorial Computer Centre, inside Sardauna Memorial College, Kaduna, the operators were seen test-running their computer systems.

Head of the centre, Popoola Muhammed Lawal, said the 275-capacity centre had successfully conducted UTME since 2016, and, as such, they knew what was required of them as a centre and always ready to perform beyond expectations.

One of the UTME candidates, who were at the centre to print their slips, Gabriel Wisdom, said this year’s exam would be his second attempt, stressing that his expectation was high and he was confident of passing the examination.

Another student, Precious John, said: “I have printed my slip and I am going to write the exam at Danbo International School CBT Centre. I have read very well for the exam and I have two more days now to do revision. But I am writing mine by 7:00am on Saturday.”

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In another development, some of the centres visited by our correspondent were discovered to have been sanctioned by JAMB and shut down due to one irregularity or the other.

One of such centres at one of Kaduna GRAs was locked. It was, however, noticed that a JAMB UTME banner was clipped to the wall with a phone number redirecting candidate to another centre.

However, The Nation’s investigation revealed that the centre was among the erring CBT examination centres shut by JAMB for irregularities.

Anambra CBT operators acquire new systems, generator sets

Anambra students and examination centres said they were good to go for the examination.

Before now, students used to complain about system failures at the CBT centres during the examination.

But the centres’ operators said they had made their own arrangements so that they would not disappoint parents and candidates.

At the popular Integral Development Konsult, known in Anambra State as IDK, on the Enugu-Onitsha Expressway, The Nation was told there won’t be any problem in any way during the examination

Also, at the GRAFIL Centre, close to Aroma, one of the operators, Miracle Ihejiofor, said they were ready for the test while speaking with The Nation yesterday in Awka.

He said some of the challenges they used to encounter during the process were power supply and computers’ connectivity issue.

However, he said those things had been taken care of by purchasing another stand-by generating set to supply power in case of any such failure.

For the students, their expectations were nothing but to see the systems working without any hitch.

Miss Genevieve Orji and Miss Obiora Chinaza, who spoke with The Nation, said: “We don’t expect system failures during the examination. But, we have prepared ourselves adequately. We also pray for God’s help.”

One of the parents, Dr. Ephraim Nwosu, lamented that some of the centres were always overcrowded, making it difficult for some students to do well during the examination.

He called on JAMB to create more centres to decongest the existing ones, adding that 648 centres were too small for the number of students who take the exams every year.

JAMB candidates roam Jos streets to print slips

The Sallah holiday in Plateau State forced many candidates to roam the streets in search of computer-based centres to print their slips.

Some of the centres visited did not open for business, because of the Sallah holiday. A few opened for business and candidates trooped in to print their slips with ease.

However, a candidate, Hassan Adamu, said: “I registered on March 4, but, as you can see, I’ve been roaming the streets in search of a computer-based centre to print my slip.”

Ebonyi CBTs operators are ready

Two of the centres in Ebonyi State, Ebonyi State University and CSMT Secondary School Abakaliki, said they had upgraded their infrastructure in preparation for the examination.

Ebonyi State University spokesperson Patrick Itumo, said the CBT centre was well-prepared and equipped for the exams

“We are ready for the exams. We have over 300 work stations and all modalities have been put in place to ensure hitch-free exams,” he said

At the CSMT Secondary School, The Nation could not speak with the principal. A security officer said the principal was not around as it was a weekend and a public holiday.

Yobe SS3 pupils in final preparation for exam

Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education in Yobe State, Dr. Sani Idris, told our correspondent in a telephone interview that the state government had embarked on a three-week extension for SS3 students to coach them on the forthcoming examination with much emphasis on the computer.

“What we have done as a government to help our students in the state was to embark on a three weeks extension programme for all the SS3 students. Much of the emphasis was on the computer-based test and how to use the computer. We do not have a specific arrangement for computer but it was rather built as part of the extension programme that we did during the holidays,” Dr. Sani said.

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Education

ASUU mulls strike extension, protests in cities

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ASUU mulls strike extension, protests in cities.

Indications emerged yesterday that the ongoing strike by university teachers might be extended once again.

The decision was reached at a National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) in Abuja.

A member of the NEC, who made this known to The Nation, said that ASUU was displeased by the slow pace of progress in its negotiations with the Federal Government.

“The Federal Government is not serious. Nothing concrete has come out of the meetings with them,” he said.

Yesterday, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) announced that it had begun mobilisation of its members for a three-day warning strike.

The NLC took the decision at a meeting with university-based unions in Abuja where a 21-day ultimatum was issued to the government to meet the demands of the unions. The 21-day ultimatum was ratified by the National Executive Council of the NLC. The ultimatum ended on May 4, 2022.

Students in Lagos, Illorin and Owerri have resolved to take their protests against the strike to the streets, beginning from today.

The Nation gathered that the students decided to embark on a peaceful march because there seems to be no end in sight to the strike, which is in its third month.

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According to fliers trending on social media platforms, students in Lagos will gather at University Road Junction, Yaba today, while those in Ilorin will meet at the University of Ilorin gate tomorrow. Imo State University (IMSU) students will protest on Wednesday.

On social media, hashtags such as #EndASUUstrike, #FGendASUUstrikeNow topped Twitter trends. Also banners with inscriptions such as ‘End ASUU strike now’, and ‘No to incessant strikes’, among others have since gone viral.

Workers in the research institutions under the auspices of the Joint Research and Allied Institutions Sector Unions (JORAISU) denied suspending their ongoing seven months strike.

General Secretaries of Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU), Peters Adeyemi and Academic Staff Union of Research Institutions (ASUR), Theophilus Ndubuaku made the clarification followed claims by the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment that the strike had been suspended.

In a letter to the Chairmen, Secretaries and members of ASURI, Ndubuaku said the strike was still on.

According to him, the statement by the Ministry of Labour was a misconstruction of reality.

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The statement reads: “As all our members know, ASURI is a signatory to the JORAISU strike which commenced on October 13, 2021.

“That strike has not been called off and we have no reason to direct our members to desist from participating in it

“The JORAISU strike is a sectoral struggle, so we cannot pull out of it unilaterally. The leadership of JORAISU is one and there is no division whatsoever,” he said.

The Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU) threatened to embark on strike over the failure of the Federal Government to release the N15 billion funds for revitalisation.

The union also frowned on the lack of progress in the re-negotiation of the COEASU-FGN 2009 FG agreement, as well as the use of the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS) to pay its members.

In a statement signed by its President, Smart Olugbeko, the union urged Nigerians to hold the government responsible for the impending industrial crisis across the entire College of Education system.

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First batch of UTME results out next week – JAMB

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First batch of UTME results out next week – JAMB.

The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board has said results from the first batch of candidates who wrote the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination on Friday and Saturday will be out next week.

JAMB’s Head, Public Affairs and Protocols (PAP), Dr. Fabian Benjamin, who confirmed this to The Nation on Saturday, declined to give further details.

It was however gathered that the Board would start releasing the results from Monday or Tuesday.

Benjamin said the checking of the UTME and Direct Entry results would follow similar processes adopted by the Board last year.

Benjamin said the checking of the UTME and Direct Entry results would follow similar processes adopted by the Board last year.

He said this was done to avoid fraudsters from compromising the result checking processes.

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About 1,761,338 registered for both the UTME and DE which commenced on May 6, 2022, nationwide.

The examinations, which are being conducted in 750 CBT centres approved by the Board, will end on May 16, 2022.

An official of the board ruled out the rescheduling of the examination for some candidates who missed the UTME examination as a result of heavy downpours in Lagos and other major cities.

The JAMB official said it was against the policy of the board to reschedule examinations for some candidates when others took the same examination in the same city or centre.

The official added that only candidates affected by technical challenges as a result of their centres would have the opportunity to retake the examination.

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The source said: “Rainfall is not an issue because others have written. It was the same Lagos. It was raining and some people came to write the examination.

“Our process is that as long as others have written that examination we cannot reschedule it for any candidate.

“If it is a technical issue we can reschedule but rainfall is not an issue. For those whose session was disrupted by the rain, we will not reschedule.

“If there are technical issues at some centres leading to some candidates not being able to write the examination, certainly we have that obligation to reschedule the examination for the affected candidates.”

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69,828 candidates sit for 2022 entrance exams into Unity schools

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69,828 candidates sit for 2022 entrance exams into Unity schools.

No fewer than 69,828 pupils on Saturday sat for the 2022 National Common Entrance Examination (NECO) for admission into the 110 federal government colleges across the country.

According to a report by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Malam Adamu Adamu, the Minister of Education, disclosed this when he led some top ministry officials and NECO officials on a monitoring exercise to some centres in Abuja.

NAN reports that some of the centres visited included Government Secondary School, Lugbe; Junior Secondary School, Lugbe; and Federal Government College, Kwali, Abuja.

Adamu, who was represented by Mr. David Adejo, the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, added that out of the total figure, there are more female applicants than their male counterparts in the ongoing examination.

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“Of the 69,000 plus, we have 36,855 female applicants while the balance of 32,000 plus are male,” he said.

On his assessment of the exercise, he noted that the examination was hitch-free and peaceful.

He added that laid out standards and criteria would strictly be adhered to in the selection of successful candidates.

“As far as Nigerian basic education is concerned, and in respect to the junior and secondary schools, the unity schools still remain the best, so for you to get into it, it has to be competitive.

“We are not looking at taking all the 69,000 plus, we are taking the best of the 69,000 plus and there are standards that measure what you take.

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“So the standard and criteria have been put on ground, so I don’t see us having a problem with all that,” he said.

On his part, Prof. Ibrahim Wushishi, the Registrar and Chief Executive Officer, NECO, confirmed that Lagos State recorded the highest number of registered candidates for this year’s examination.

“Lagos state registered the highest number of candidates with 19,516 candidates, while the least registered state is Kebbi with 74 candidates; they had 37 males and 37 females,” he said.

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