Candidates of the just concluded Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME), on Tuesday stormed the Lagos State House of Assembly in Alausa Ikeja, to protest against the irregularities in their examination result.
The large number of candidates alongside their parents, who demanded for the resignation of the registrar of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Professor Dibu Ojerinde, threw stones at the security men manning the gate to vent their anger.
The protesters also demanded for the cancellation of the exams
Recall, that after the Computer Based Test (CBT), which was written on the 27th of February, it was reported that some candidates had 40 marks added and others had 40 marks deducted from their original scores.
The students carried placards, that displayed inscriptions such as, ‘All we are saying give us our mark’, ‘Dibu must go; the only stumbling block in education progress’, ‘The Joint Admission and Manipulation Board, give us our real results’, and ‘The professor of test and management has outlived his usefulness’, among others.
Some others chanted statements like ‘give us our real marks’; “This cannot be our real marks’; “Dibu must go’; ‘Our systems went off during exam and nothing was done about it.’
An applicant who admitted that she also had a problem with her examination said, “My own advice to all institutions, higher institutions is that, they should disqualify JAMB score for this year.”
One Usman Sanusi, who travelled from Lagos to Ibadan, to take the exam said he got four versions of results.
“They sent three different scores to my phone. They first sent 101, then 178 and 188. Which one am I supposed to believe? When I finally checked online, I saw 179 and I could not accept the score, because I am better than that. My mum did not believe when I told her my score. She has been very angry with me, saying I wasted her money. JAMB is making parents fight with their children. Things are not so bad for students to enter university in other countries. Why is it always Nigeria that has problems with everything?” he lamented.
Mr Dotun Sodunke who is the president of the Association of Tutorial School Operators blasted the registrar of JAMB Prof. Dibu Ojerinde, saying he has outlived his relevance.
He also accused the board of awarding results to students arbitrarily, adding that some students who got text messages confirming the release of their results, got different scores when they printed the e-results online.
He said: “I had a candidate who scored 264 in his JAMB and he had his parents even shared a testimony in church. To his surprise, his score had changed to 176 when he printed it and it has stayed that way. What happened to his earlier score?”
He claimed JAMB is trying to force the students to apply to private universities
“Some of the students who were given low marks have received text messages from some private universities offering them provisional admission. How did these universities, which they did not apply to get their details? Someone is trying to enrich these institutions,” Sodunke added.
The Majority Leader of the Lagos Sate House of Assembly, Sanai Agunbiade, who came to address the angry protesters apologised to the candidates on the inability of the lawmakers to attend to them swiftly.
He however, promised the students that appropriate steps will be taken to address the issue, adding that they should not have been violent.
Meanwhile, JAMB released a statement urging the protesters to channel their complaints to the board rather than being used by “education consultants” for selfish interest.
The statement which was signed by its Public Relations Officer, Dr. Fabian Benjamin, described the “education consultants” as business owners that applied to run the examination as Computer Based Centres but failed JAMB’s screening.
The statement reads: “JAMB has called for calm and advised candidates to always avail themselves of the opportunity provided by the Board through it public complaints unit to vent their grievances and not to allow anybody to use them for any selfish interest.
“The Board had approved centres provided by these individuals to be used for the 2016 exercise, but unfortunately couldn’t as the centres were found to be lacking in all the indices needed for a successful CBT examination. This was discussed with these proprietors and they showed understanding as they witnessed the difficulties the Board went through to run even a session in their centres.
“It is surprising that these same proprietors will turn around to organised candidates to protest over our activities.
“We are not perfect as an organisation but working hard to ensure that Nigerian education is better than it is. We have taken the risk to do the unthinkable so as to change the paradigm.
“It is no news that the worst CBT is far better than the best Paper and Pencil Test. At least, the era of candidates pouring acid on staff, bolting with question papers into the bush and all manners of unthinkable embarrassing acts are gone,” he said.