Minister of Education, Prof. Ruqqayatu Ahmed Rufa’I, yesterday said out of 1.7 million students that sat for the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME), 1.2 million may not be able to gain admission to universities of their choice.
The minister who stated this during an inspection of students that sat for the examination in Abuja said the space that is available is barely 520,000 for federal, states and private institutions in the entire nation
Ruqqayatu, who wondered what would happen to the 1.2 million students that might not gain admission this year said, Her words: “I watched them taking the exam with all seriousness; I feel the pain that most of them could not gain admission in the long run.
Only 520,000 students may be able to gain admission in all the nation’s tertiary institutions. We are calling on people to understand the situation and also urging states to continue to open up access to education.
We need to take care of everybody and that is our concern”. She asked rhetorically, “What are we going to do with 1.2 million candidates in terms of our readiness to the carrying capacity? We will not expand our carrying capacity simply to accommodate these students without expansion of the facilities. We are calling for improvement in access and private partnership. Let us have more private bodies that can come out to have private institutions.”
The minister, however, hinted that the President, last year, increased access to education in 25 universities, pointing out that the nation cannot look at quality alone, but needs access to education, given the large number of students seeking for admission in different institutions yearly. She urged the students to answer questions accurately and shade properly to avoid missing of results.
“Students need to answer questions correctly, sometimes they answer wrongly without reading the instructions well. Where they are expected to shade their answers, you will see most of them skipping and that is why we usually have
“The computer-based exam which is coming up on May 18 will witness instant release of results. We started with dual mode where you can see students reading their questions from computers.
We have seen the faces of the students and they are very happy to experience that mode. We have also examined how students are also faring. She commended JAMB for initiating new methods which, according to her, have reduced
Meanwhile, the examination held nationwide yesterday was trailed by widespread malpractices, delay in capturing the candidates’ biometric data and shortage of question papers, among others.
In some of the centres visited by Sunday Mirror, candidates were seen shortly before the commencement of the exam copying supposedly answers from their cell phones into small sheets of papers, which they hid in secluded parts of their body, including the private part and under stockings to beat the security officers. Some smart ones among them also went into the exam halls with their cell phones making it easier for them to cheat.
At Vetland Senior High School, Ifako-Ijaiye council area of Lagos, officials had problems with the biometric screening of many candidates within the scheduled time. The Chief Examiner at the centre, who simply identified herself as Mrs Olajide, had to announce to those affected and who had earlier been screened manually to go into classrooms that fall within their exam numbers to settle down.
It was after she ensured all had been on their seats and served the questions and answer scripts except a few others who came in, much later, one after the other, that she announced again that they should all start the exam. That was
While the exam was going on, she went round to announce that every candidate should ensure they did biometric screening before leaving the exam hall.
There was also a case of candidates not having all their subject combinations in one booklet and there were no leftover question papers across subject combinations. On malpractice, although many supervisors denied knowledge of any, a JAMB official in charge of the 11 centres in Ikotun/ Idimu area told Sunday Mirror that over 30 candidates were caught cheating in the exam hall and that some invigilators aided the practice such that he had to re-arrange some of the invigilators at Comprehensive College, Ikotun, having suspected foul play in regard to the examination.