The possibility of shifting the date for the 2021 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) is very high, the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has said.
JAMB Registrar, Professor Ishaq Oloyede, explained that this was because of the inability of at least 600,000 candidates who have indicated interest to participate, to register for the examination scheduled to hold between June 5 and 19.
Speaking at a virtual meeting with 2021 UTME committee members on Friday, he disclosed that 1.1 million candidates have so far registered for the 2021 UTME, and the board anticipated approximately 1.9 million registrations at the end of the exercise.
The JAMB boss noted that while 50 per cent of the candidates have already registered without problem, there was a need to carry everyone along.
He stated that at the end of the meeting with the stakeholders, they would decide on whether to shift the exam forward or not.
“The possibility of shifting the exam forward is still high, but that will be determined after our meeting with stakeholders,” said Professor Oloyede.
He added, “This is because about 600,000 candidates who have indicated interest in the exam are yet to register. There is a need to give everyone the opportunity.”
The examination body, which is responsible for the conduct of the entrance examination into the nation’s tertiary institutions, had directed candidates to provide two pictures in the exam script – that of who register for the exam and of persons who register for the National Identification Number (NIN).
The NIN, which is a unique number that identifies individuals, is issued by the country’s National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) upon enrolment.
The JAMB registrar apologised for the new initiatives introduced in the 2021 UTME, noting that it was not to punish candidates but to expose candidates who engage in the habit of indulging in various forms of malpractices.
While calling on the candidates to take note of the process, Professor Oloyede clarified that the essence was to dictate any disparity in the process.
“We apologise for putting you through some hardship in the registration. The government directed that anyone participating in JAMB must have their NIN. This is beyond our control. Those who are yet to register should do so.
“The MOCK exam is bill to come up on Thursday. It is an exam meant to test out capability. As you all know, the main exam is coming up on June 5 and 19, 2021,” he told the meeting.
The JAMB boss added, “We are meeting with stakeholders today to discuss the issues and on whether we will shift the exam date forward or not. We will brief the media on the outcome of the meeting tomorrow.
“Shifting the exam date is not the solution; at the meeting, we will discuss how some of the problems encountered by candidates would be resolved. It is important that we carry everyone along.”
He revealed that JAMB has secured about 802 exam centres across the country and 104 centres in towns.