The much rejuvenated and reformed Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) – the central body and the clearing house for qualifying tests for admission into Nigeria’s tertiary institutions has decided that, barring any very last minute issues, its Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) for candidates seeking admission into the nation’s universities, polytechnics and Colleges of Education, for the 2018/2019 academic session, will take place for at between this Friday, March 9 and 17, at locations across the length and breadth of Nigeria.
In making this fact public, amidst some lingering misgivings in some quarters, judging from some slips of last year, the JAMB’s head of Media and Publicity, Dr Fabian Benjamin reassured that the date would not be shifted, and advised candidates to go ahead and do their bit, first by printing out their examination notification slips which would have become available on the JAMB examination portal, as from last Tuesday, 6th March.
“These candidates must ensure that these slips are printed before Friday, March 9 in order to familiarize themselves with the examination schedules”, the JAMB Information boss told the candidates, as according to the Board, no excuses for missing the exams will be brooked or accommodated, as any candidate that misses the examination due to his or her failure to adhere to the schedules as clearly stipulated in the slips, would only have him or herself to blame.
This paper is not unaware of the Board’s determination as well as the enormous efforts it is deploying to ensure that this year’s UTME examination, which will expectedly involve more than one million candidates at centres at all the cardinal locations of Nigeria, would meet up to the highest standards. This would be in line and in sync with the Board’s efforts to further and consolidate the gains from the massive reforms which have been going on at JAMB since the inception of Prof Ishaq Oloyede as the registrar of the Board in 2016. These efforts have also included massive house-cleaning activities within the Board itself.
While skeptics and naysayers had kept thinking and hoping that all or some of these reforms would be jettisoned for the business-as-usual days at JAMB that had bred disorder, incompetence, confusion as well as graft and even violence in some cases, the Board is pressing on with the new order whose gains are already being anchored into the rich and firm grounds of acceptance.
Expectedly, continuing from this year, the Board is determined to cement the gains of these reforms through what it hopes would be a hitch-free UTME, for which it seems to be crossing the t’s and dotting all the i’s. For instance, it has successfully concluded a weeklong mock examinations nationwide; and is currently applying the different possible challenges and lapses gleaned that are capable of throwing the spanners in the works of the Board and its desideratum to deliver on dependable and credible examinations for the youths who constitute the most important building bricks for the nation’s present and future. There is no doubt that the much desired search for transparency in the society is largely measurable through such international recognized avenues as examinations and elections. A society that cannot ensure credible examinations cannot be expected to see anything wrong in rigged elections or in best practices in every other sphere of life or governance at every level.
The quantum and dynamics of the reforms being currently embarked upon by JAMB provide ample indications that the Board neither intends to relent nor go back on the gains it had so far chalked-up.
The AUTHORITY fully identifies with these efforts of JAMB to return respectability and value to the integrity of our exams, and therefore, the quality of the youth that gain admission into our institutions and consequently of the soundness of the products of our institutions. That is why we support all the efforts and activities of the Board to ensure that the integrity of the exams conducted by JAMB measure up to the international standard.
That is why we make this newspaper available for the amplification of these objectives of the Board. To that extent, we call on all the stakeholders on JAMB, which happens to be every member of the society – candidates, schools, parents, partners at the computer-based exam centres, security agencies, members of the civil society and others to cooperate with JAMB to ensure victory for what amounts to a fight for the nation’s soul.
The AUTHORITY, therefore, repeats the recent call by JAMB on all stakeholders to play their part, like the parents and guardians, who, the Board has asked to keep away from exam centres but to leave their wards to take the exams the way it should be taken – transparently. In the same way, we warn the candidates to heed the warning of the Board not to take some items to the exam halls.
Because it has worked hard and well, and with great focus, we wish JAMB well in this year’s tests and call on all stakeholders to give the Board adequate support, which might just amount to keeping away from the exam centres and affairs during these and future exams.