Written by Godfrey AKON

CPAN slams JAMB over 2019 UTME failures

Owners of Computer- Based Test, CBT, Centres across the country have decried the biometric and browser failures that marred the 2019 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination, UTME.

The Computer-Based Test Centres Proprietors’ Association of Nigeria, CPAN, revealed last Thursday that JAMB’s browsers and biometric machines failed during the exercise, robing over 2000 candidates of their opportunity to participate in the 2019 UTME.

National President of CPAN, Mr Maxwell Akwuruoha, told journalists at a press conference in Abuja that the candidates who had purchased forms for the examination were denied the opportunity to gain admission in the 2019/2020 academic year.

Maxwell noted that it was only noble that JAMB Registrar, Prof Is-haq Oloyede, apologises to these children that were prevented from writing the examination.

He also alleged that JAMB applied fire brigade approach during accreditation, especially with ad hoc staff that are not trained, adding that JAMB workers deployed on the examination days were either incompetent or connived to carry out malpractices.

Some of the challenges identified by the association in the 2019 UTME include: “biometric and browser failure, incompetence of technical staff, inadequacies in CBT centres and excesses in sales of novels, syllabus and brochures.

“Biometric enrolment as secured registration medium for UTME and Direct Entry candidates started in 2011, with the introduction of electronic testing actively in 2013 and absolutely in 2015.

“It has been that the introduction of technology as electronic testing saved huge costs, initially meant for printing question papers, syllabus, brochure, and logistics for delivery of same.

“It has been that only N600 is paid to centres for each candidate that sits for the examination. It has also been that JAMB applies a fire-brigade approach during accreditation, especially with ad hoc workers who are not trained.

“It does not kill anybody to apologise that the biometric system actually failed. We had candidates that were prevented from writing the exam because of biometric failures from JAMB.

“Some children were prevented from writing the examination due to biometric failure from JAMB. The system failed because some of the technical people sent to some centres by JAMB were incompetent.

“What we are saying is that the biometric solutions deployed by JAMB during the examination failed. NIITDA and ICT experts can come into this. The biometric solutions failed and apology should be rendered that these children were prevented from writing the examination,” he said.

Meanwhile, JAMB’s Head of Information, Dr Fabian Benjamin, has dismissed the allegations as “cheap blackmail,” stating that “It is quite unfortunate that a group of people, who claim to be our partners and who daily clamour for an increase in what we pay them, will resort to blackmail.

“One, our biometric verification did not fail. We conducted biometric verification for about two million candidates. Let me assume, without conceding, that 2000 candidates could not be verified, what is the percentage of 2000 in two million?

“Every candidate that registered properly was verified. So for any candidate who was not verified, it is not as a result of biometric failure; some of them registered in centres that were not approved and some of them did multiple registrations and they were therefore blocked.

 

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