ABEOKUTA-Non fewer than 1.7million candidates are expected to sit for 2017 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination in April.
The Registrar, Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, Prof. Ishaq Oloyede disclosed this on Tuesday at Abeokuta at the sideline of the examination body’s Information and Communication Technology retreat involving civil society groups, students and other major stakeholders. Oloyede said the JAMB also aimed at increasing the capacities of its Computer Based Test Centres in order to make the April examination seamless. He said, “We are expecting 1.7million candidates to sit for JAMB this year and we want to make sure we satisfy these candidates within a week or thereabout. “That is why we are increasing the capacity of the Computer-Based Test centres to be able to examine more candidates within a given date.” Oloyede who said the body would not promise a hitch-free examination, noted that there were changes and innovations ongoing which would send some illegal operators who had defrauded candidates in the past, out of business. The JAMB boss, however, said the examination body would not be deterred in its mission to serve its candidates better. He said, “I must be frank with you, I cannot promise a hitch- free examination because we are testing certain things. “We are changing certain things. We want to question the status quo and of course, we expect a fight back by interest that will be trampled upon. “We are going to be as sincere as possible in the direction we are going. We are going to be as flexible as humanly possible. We are not promising hitch free examination. “We envisaged that there will be hitches here and there, but they will not be insurmountable. Rather than promising the nation hitch free examination, we will be promising a direction we will all be pleased with. “Initially there might be hiccups and of course one would not have been appointed if it is routine. I believe that I have been given a very difficult job and that is why I am not promising that all will be smooth.” He argued that that was why JAMB invited stakeholders to critique its processes, because it would not want to continue in the wrong direction. He said, “We are creating some ICT facilities and we want our stakeholders, prospective candidates, respected scholars, institutions, civil societies to come together and critique what we are doing, so that we can be sure, before we go too far in a wrong direction. “This is a view of harvesting good ideas that could improve what we are doing.” He said the CBT had come to stay, as four African countries had indicated interest to come over to Nigeria to understudy it. “Of course, I believed that Nigeria is ripe for this (CBT). Nigeria is more advanced than some of these countries. At least, we have three or four countries that are observing our examination and they want to go the way of the conduct of the examination,”he said. While he said the JAMB would soon commence the sale of its forms for the 2017 UTME, he added that the examination body was also working on the possibility of conducting a mock examination “for some people who just want to try on what we are doing.”