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Power Outages And Other Glitches Emerge As 2024 UTME Begin



2024 UTME Performance Sparks Concern

Lagos, April 19, 2024 (NAN) Hitches were reported at some centres in Lagos on Friday as the 2024 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) began across the country at the Computer-Based Test, CBT centres.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that no fewer than 1.9 million candidates registered for the computer-based examination nationwide.

NAN correspondents who monitored the first day of the UTME in Lagos report that technical hitches occurred at the Wisdom House, Yaya Abatan,  Ogba, one of the CBT centres, early in the day.

Some candidates claimed that the hitches  led to some of them being logged out before the expected time.

One of the affected candidates, who gave her name as Precious, said she was scheduled for the first session.

She said that she got to the centre at 6:30 am, did her biometrics and went in for the examination.

According to her, a few minutes after commencement of the examination, there was power outage that led to the shut down of all the systems in the hall.

She said that it took about 45 minutes for the centre operators to rectify the challenge and even when they did, many of them could no longer log in.

“A lot of  time was again spent by the centre owners battling to get the challenge resolved and eventually when they did, most of us could barely do only two subjects, while others could not attempt any before we were finally logged out, signaling the end of examination for the first session,” she said.

Confirming the issue, supervisor of the centre, Mrs Aisha Abdulbaqi, said no fewer than 50 candidates were affected by the development.

She cited land cable of the centre and the systems as the main issues.

“We are thinking of what to do about these candidates who are affected. I guess the only way out will be rescheduling them,” she said.

The centre administrator, who did not want his name in print, said the entire development came up abruptly.

He said that before now, the systems and all other backups had been in top shape.

“It was just a technical glitch, and when it occurred, we immediately rallied round to fix it and everything started working again”, he said.

NAN reports that the second session for the day that was supposed to begin by 9.00 a.m was postponed to 4.00p.m. in the same centre, because of another technical hitch.

“The  examination for the second set has now been also postponed, because the  technical officers from JAMB have been battling to push the examination to no avail.

“This is no longer a fault from the centre, rather a hitch from the side of owners of the examination.

“The candidates for the second and final session will have to wait and get another biometric verification done before the time,” the centre administrator told NAN.

At the Al-Miyzan CBT centre, Ikotun-Idimu, the same issue was also recorded, as UTME candidates scheduled for the 7.00 a.m. examination were affected by technical hitches on the system.

The centre  administrator told NAN that a complaint had been lodged at  JAMB, to see how the issue could be resolved.

They noted that candidates  affected would be sent emails  of when they they might likely be rescheduled for the examination.

Mrs Ajike Ajibola, a business woman,  whose daughter was posted to the centre, said that they left their home early so they could meet up with the 7.00 a.m examination.

“But my daughter told me she could not do any examination on entering the hall, because the system was not coming up.

“This is the  second time of bringing my children to this center, it is always this same issue.

“JAMB  officials must be aware of this situation and address it immediately, because my daughter must write her examination,”she said.

“Another parent, Mr Adeniyi Adesonkan, who said his son was affected, described the development as disappointing.

He said that the failure of technology during such critical events in the country was worrisome.

“My son had prepared rigorously for this examination but with this situation, he won’t be happy.

“JAMB officials should always monitor and supervise these centres before accrediting them,” he said.

Meanwhile, the examination began as scheduled in other centres visited, with record of few candidates coming in behind time and some others absent.

At the WAEC Test and Training Centre (WTTC) Ogba,  the exercise went smoothly,  with no incidents recorded for both the first and second sessions.

Prof. Ibrahim Imam, a supervisor for Centre 1 at the venue, told a  NAN correspondent that the exercise was hitch free.

“I want to say that so far, it has been a cosy ride. There has not been any hitch, impersonation or examination malpractice,  in any form.

“However, about four candidates did not show up for the examination at the centre.

“We started by 6.30 a.m. with the biometric verification and other necessary checks and so far it has been excellent.

“Even though it is Day 1 of this examination, we can comfortably say, this centre will be hitch free all through the exercise, because of the facilities and the  environment.

“The candidates too have been of good behaviour, just like members of staff of the centre, who have been at their best,  to ensure an excellent outing,” he said.

Dr Kolawole Mauruf, another supervisor at Centre 2 of the same WTTC, said that a total of 12 candidates did not show up in his own centre.

He said that 238 sat for the examination for the first session but could not say the number that were present for the second and final session for the day.

Some candidates that wrote the examination, however, complained of misplacement of options for some questions in the ‘Use of English’ paper.

Also, Mr Yomi Otubela, Proprietor, Lagooz School and CBT center, Agege, said that the two batches that sat for the examination at the centre recorded no hitches.

Otubela said though the examinations were just starting, the centre was fully prepared for the task.

“Any centre having issues this year must be from their end, because JAMB has provided necessary things for a seamless examination.

“From tomorrow, we will be expecting more candidates, because three batches are writing tomorrow,” he said.

NAN reports that the UTME taking place in over 700 CBT centres nationwide, will  be concluded on April 29. (NAN)

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