UNILAG, Ekene and UTME

UNILAG, Ekene and UTME

By Chimdi Maduagwu

The University of Lagos is not unaware of the present press and public views on the yet to commence admission and registration exercises into the university for the 2019/2020 academic session.
It is true that the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has conducted and released results of the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME), which to some people kicks off the process of admission into tertiary institutions; however, the universities are not yet in the picture.

University of Lagos has just been dragged in due to either lack of information or insufficient information. The Guardian Opinion of May 19, 2019 presented some disturbing matters about the admission and registration processes.

In what appeared partly like a plea and partly like a command, “UNILAG, admit UTME highest scorer,” The Guardian Newspaper opinion presented what it referred first as “insinuations” but later as truth, that UNILAG will not offer a place to Ekene Franklin, who purportedly came out with the highest score of 347 of 400 in the last UTME.

The reason, according to the opinion is age – his age is 15 years and that happens to be below matriculation age.

University of Lagos would have been in a very good position to give information to the general public on the matter, if it was clearly stated, rather than insinuated; if JAMB had forwarded Ekene Franklin’s scores and other particulars to the University and if the University had confirmed information about the candidate’s age.

Ordinarily, there will be no need for a reaction like this, but because of the long standing cordial relationship between the University of Lagos and the Press – The Guardian, included – it is necessary to advance some contraries, on the side of the truth, to the press opinion.

The insinuation that a 15 year old candidate is inadmissible is not unfounded. However, it will be unfortunate to use the laws, rules, regulations, norms of an institution, which have stood the test of time as instruments of blackmail against the institution. This is what The Guardian Newspaper appears to be doing. Criteria for admission and registration into courses of study at the University of Lagos, the University of First Choice and the nation’s pride, are clearly stated for all prospective candidates to note.

Here are the five admission requirements in UNILAG
1. Admission into FULL-TIME undergraduate programmes is ONLY through Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) and Direct Entry (DE).

2. Candidates must obtain a minimum of 200 points in Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) and Candidate’s details must have been forwarded to University of Lagos by Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB).

3. Candidate must possess five (5) credits in O/Level or its equivalent as required by the Department of interest.

4. Candidate must sit for the University POST-UTME Screening and must obtain the required minimum score.

5. Candidate must have reached the AGE of sixteen (16) by the 31st day of October in the year of admission.

These requirements have never been subjected to challenges and pleas. The Institution is impersonal and may not change abruptly when put under emotional threats or blackmail. Decisions are end results of long procedural consideration of various panels, committees and either the senate or the governing council.

While it is natural to be sympathetic with the situation of Ekene Franklin, it will be strange if both Ekene Franklin and his parents/guardians will claim that they are unaware of the regulations governing admission and registration of candidates, not only into University of Lagos, but to Universities in Nigeria.

We suppose, the candidate in question would have chosen a course of study, and also consciously answered questions in subjects that are relevant and thus prescribed as prerequisites for admission into his choice. There is no doubt that the candidate is very intelligent and so would have observed all the other instructions given. If this be the case, the instruction governing matriculation age should not be ignored.

On a general note, there ought to be no problems with a national daily like the Guardian making her views on a possible rejection of the brilliant candidate by the “laws” of the institution known to the public, but resorting to statements which bother on insult, slander and defamation is unexpected of the revered newspaper.

The Guardian Newspaper is known and respected as a Broadsheet, which usually would stand out amongst mere Tabloids. We expect that it should strive to maintain its highly esteemed position through well thought out and objective positions on matters.

Matters of tertiary institutional admission are quite delicate in the country given Nigeria’s interest in education and manpower development. Parents as well as their wards are particularly eager to secure positions in the institutions and that makes it highly competitive.

For this reason, parents/guardians encourage their wards to test themselves at examinations ahead of time. They are well aware that sometimes, their wards may not be fully qualified for admission into institutions they seek to get into, should they succeed. For some, it is just for the candidates to gain some experience. But when the stage is upset and the casual candidates perform far above expectations, then a seemingly unmanageable case, like the one in hand evolves.

The Guardian should note that this is not the first time, and perhaps not going to be the last time for such a case.

For instance, in the early 1990s, the highest score in the then JAMB (now UTME) examination was one Chidi Ugonna, aged 15. Chidi Ugonna’s father was Prof Nnabuenyi Ugonna, (deceased) of the Department of Linguistics and African Studies, and his mother was the Deputy Librarian, all of the University of Lagos, which is also the candidate’s choice of institution.

The summary of the story is that Chidi Ugonna, by the standing regulation, forfeited the high score. So each time an under aged performs well, the tendency is for the public to agitate for either a waiver of the matriculation age restrictions or its total cancellation.

Equally, just 2018, the candidate who had the best result in the West African Examinations Council (Senior Secondary Examinations), Okorogheye David and who again scored 332 of 400 in the UTME, was under aged at the time of admission. For as long as parents and candidates will keep giving a trial to examinations, against the strict regulations, cases like this will continue.

The Guardian alleged that Unilag will be killing talent if she fails to renege and take whiz kid Ekene Franklin, but the Newspaper does not realize that the University is a highly disciplined institution, where structure and order prevail.

The system operated in this part of the world is not exactly like those in other parts of the world that The Guardian falls back on for its comparison.

For instance, here does not permit individual institutional recruitment of students and also does not give room for students to register for courses without being enrolled for a degree. Ours is thus different from other examples presented by The Guardian, where course registration is somehow more liberal and where autonomy is absolute and practical.

Nevertheless, it is unfair to associate Unilag with retrogression because it has kept to its statutes. May be it could help if at this point mention is made of the School of Foundation at the University of Lagos, which offers a preliminary course at the end of which candidates will be qualified for a direct entry admission into degree courses in the University. Very young candidates, like Ekene Franklin can explore such an opportunity because there is no age restriction since it is a pre-matriculation course.

Finally the great newspaper should be more careful so as to avoid being accused of ignorance because it has not taken consideration of a number of attendant facts to the story it carried on May 19, 2019.

Maduagwu is a Professor of English, University of Lagos

Credit: The Guardian

2019 UTME: JAMB, other stakeholders to announce cut-off marks Tuesday

2019 UTME: JAMB, other stakeholders to announce cut-off marks Tuesday

Breaking: JAMB, stakeholders fix cut-off mark for 2019/2020 admission Tuesday

by Frank Ikpefan, Abuja

The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board will meet with stakeholders on Tuesday to decide the cut-off mark for the 2019/2020 admission.

The 2019 Policy Meeting with stakeholder will hold on Tuesday, June 11 at Gbongan, Osun State.

JAMB’s Head of Information, Dr. Fabian Benjamin disclosed this in a statement on Sunday in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

Benjamin said the official cut-off marks for the 2019/2020 admission would be made public at the end of the policy meeting.

He advised candidates to disregard any cut-off mark being peddled by fraudsters, describing it as “fake.”

He said: “The clarification became necessary following speculations that the board had fixed the 2019 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) cut-off marks.

“It is pertinent to note that the heads of institutions and other stakeholders will do so at a policy meeting which is chaired by the Honourable Minister of Education. The board has scheduled the 2019 Policy Meeting for June 11 at Gbongan, Osun State.”

The board added that candidates should not also believe some rumour that a candidate could have two different results released by the server.

Benjamin also advised candidates to print their admission letter as they may not have been deemed to have been admitted.

Meanwhile, the board said it has successfully secured conviction for fifteen persons who were involved in double registration, examination malpractice and other infractions during the conduct of the UTME.

The board said some of the convictions were secured in Zamfara, Kebbi and other states.

Credit: The Nation

2019 UTME: No cut-off marks yet, JAMB cautions public against fraudulent elements

2019 UTME: No cut-off marks yet, says JAMB

SPECULATIONS in some quarters over cut-off marks for admission were laid to rest yesterday.
The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) said it has not published the national and general minimum cut-off marks for placement of candidates into the nation’s tertiary institutions.
The board’s Head, Media and Information, Dr. Fabian Benjamin, told reporters in Lagos that some persons, whom he described as “fraudulent elements”, have been peddling the rumour that the cut-off marks were out with a ploy to defraud innocent Nigerians, especially the candidates.
Dr. Benjamin said the cut-off marks could only be arrived at with the inputs of critical stakeholders in the education sector.
He said: “We want to seize this opportunity to caution the public especially candidates, not to allow themselves to be swindled by these desperate individuals that are peddling this rumour.
“The board is yet to come up with any cut-off mark for placements into the various tertiary institutions across the country.
“The cut-off marks cannot be decided upon without the input of critical stakeholders of the education sector at an elaborate policy meeting,” he said.
Benjamin explained that the next policy meeting would be holding on June 11, at Gbongan in Osun State.
The spokesman noted that already, preparations for the meeting had been concluded, adding that officials of the Ministry of Education have been invited to attend.
According to him, other key stakeholders were also expected to grace the occasion, to determine the national cut-off mark.
He said it was only after this had been achieved that the candidates would be availed of the cut-off marks of the various tertiary institutions across the country.
Benjamin said: “The cut-off marks are the minimum expectation for every institution and that does not mean by attaining such cut-off mark, it therefore means an automatic placement into schools of first choice.
“We therefore want to appeal to the general public, especially the candidates not to fall prey to fraudsters.
“The board will continue to provide information to the public on its processes and activities at every stage.”
Over 1.8 million candidates registered for the 2019 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME).

2019 UTME: Over 1.3 million candidates have accessed results so far — JAMB

2019 UTME: Over 1.3 million candidates have accessed results so far — JAMB

The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) says over 1.3 million candidates have so far accessed their results using the result checker (code), 55019.

The board’s Head, Media and Information, Dr Fabian Benjamin, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Lagos.

Benjamin was speaking against the backdrop of claims in some quarters that majority of candidates who participated at the board’s 2019 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) had yet to access their results through the said code.

He also described as untrue, claims by some mischief makers that the N50 charges incurred through the code was going to the board’s purse.

“I want to refute all these claims as there is no truth in them.

“First and foremost, by our records, over 1.3 candidates who sat for this examination have accessed their results using the code for checking the results, which remains ‘55019’.

“Again, let me also state in clear terms that the N50 charged in the process of checking these results does not go to JAMB’s purse but to the various service providers,” Benjamin said.

According to the spokesman, the clarification became necessary in view of what he described as ‘wicked and malicious rumours’ by some persons that the board is charging a fee for checking of results.

Giving a breakdown of the total number of results checked by candidates through the various network providers, Benjamin noted that MTN had the highest, with a total of 888,598, followed by Glo, with a total of 190,923.

He said that coming third was Airtel, with a total of 104, 970 candidates who have so far accessed their result using the network.

Benjamin said that before now, Airtel had some technical hitches, but thankfully, all such challenges had been addressed.

Speaking further, he noted that a total of 62,170 candidates had also accessed their results using the 9mobile service provider.

The spokesman said the board appreciated the concern of those candidates who had challenges accessing their results, and expressed the board’s sincere apologies to the development.

He noted that the board was partnering with the network providers in ensuring quality service in an attempt to forestall such occurrences in its subsequent examinations.

Benjamin said that already, plans were already in place to forward the results to candidates’ profiles for viewing and printing.

NAN reports that results for 2019 UTME were released on Saturday, May 11.

Over 1.8 million candidates registered for the examination. (NAN)

I actually aimed to score 370, Ekene, UTME 2019 best candidate declares

I targeted 370, says Ekene, UTME best candidate

by Shehu Bello

When he was preparing for the 2019 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME), Ekene Franklin Ezeunala said his target was to make a score of 370 out of a possible 400.

The SS3 pupil of Meiran Community Secondary School, Meiran, Lagos, made 347 – and he is still happy with himself.

“I tried to make a good score while preparing for the examination.

“The score I was targeting was 370. I still feel happy that I still achieved a good result,” said the public school pupil.

Ekene, who will turn 15 in 13 days (May 27), said he was shocked to be announced the candidate with the highest score in the examination.

“When I first heard I was the highest, I was a bit shocked. But I became glad and happy.”

The teenager said regular participation in competitions on behalf of Lagos State helped his preparations.

“The competitions impacted positively on my preparation. Some of the subjects I did I had done them in preparing for the competitions and met the same thing in the exams,” he said.

Ekene wants to study Chemical Engineering in the university – for the love of it and to impact the society.

He said he was already working on some bio-fuel research to reduce carbon emissions in Nigeria.

“I want to study Chemical Engineering because I feel that chemistry and technology can impact the general public and society in various ways; and personally, I have a flair for chemistry,” he said.

Ekene’s mother, Mrs. Chinelo Ezeunala, a Chemistry teacher at Hightree College, a private school in Berger, Lagos, said she was happy about her son’s feat.

The Chemistry graduate said her son has always shown brilliance in his education and as a result skipped some classes in primary school.

“He started school early at two years plus because I was serving when I had him.

“He attended Philthel Primary School, Akoka. The school was owned by a professor teaching at the University of Lagos. But the woman is late now.

“In primary school he was very bright so he was promoted twice that was why he is 14 years in SS3,” she said.

Mrs. Ezeunala learnt of a scholarship offer by Gregory University, Uturu, Abia State from this reporter.

When asked if she would allow the boy to go, she said it would be discussed as a family.

She said the family was not buoyant enough to afford private university fees if the offer was not a full scholarship.

She said her husband was a retired staff of the defunct NITEL where he worked as a technician and had experienced hard luck in his efforts at running businesses.

She said: “We are not really well off and we cannot afford private university fees. If it is full scholarship, my opinion is ‘why not?’”

Credit: The Nation

JAMB Registrar breaks down in tears over malpractice as UTME results are released

Exam malpractice: Oloyede breaks down in tears at release of 2019 UTME result

Fred Ezeh, Abuja

The Registrar, Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Prof. Ishaq Oloyede, broke down in tears on Saturday in Abuja, as he announced the release of the 2019 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME), conducted few weeks ago.

The discovery made during the period of scrutiny of the examination centers was unprecedented and the Registrar was deeply shocked by the extent some candidates went to perfect their cheating in the examination.

Oloyede told journalists in Abuja that JAMB identified a large number of impersonators that specialised in writing UTME for candidates, including most of the tutorial masters that also specialised in recruiting professional writers for their candidates.

He said they use names directly or variants of the name or multiple registrations. In Anambra State, two centres registered large number of impersonating candidates and that led to cancellation of the results and the CBT centres delisted.

“We also tracked the registration centres and the computers used, he said, adding that “Another dimension of impersonation was a futile attempt of defeating the biometric capturing of ten fingers that was introduced in 2017. The fraudsters thought they could beat the system through ‘contributed fingers’, where two or more persons would use their fingers to register for candidates, thinking that any of them would be able to write for such candidates if the system allowed it.

“Another examples were in Aminu Saleh College of Education, Azare, where someone’s fingerprint was discovered in 42 person’s registration, and in Bauchi State University, Gadau, where one person’s fingerprint was traced to the registration of 64 candidates with a view to allowing any of the finger-contributing impersonators to access the examination hall.”

He said the Board went to the extent of interacting with the principal officers of the institution in Azare, and “we appreciated the Council Chairman and Provost of the College whose cooperation led to the confession of the culprit that he contributed fingers in good faith.”

He said the confession, as bad as it was, is good for the Board as, without it, there would have been doubts about the accuracy of the technology deployed to determine and detect the infraction.

He highlighted another case in Borno State where, in Nassara Computer Academy, Maiduguri, 233 candidates had one particular finger included in each of their biometric registration.

He said that JAMB has made representative arrests through the effort of Special Task Force set up by Force Intelligence Bureau (FIB), which assisted JAMB tremendously in tracking the offenders.

Credit: The Sun

2019 UTME Candidates Appeal For Release Of Results

2019 UTME Candidates Appeal For Release Of Results

By AGENCY REPORT –

Some 2019 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examinations (UTME) candidates have appealed to the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) to release their results.

The candidates spoke in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Bwari.

The 2019 UTME commenced on April 11 to April 18 with 1.8 million registered candidates.

The board, has repeatedly said that it would take its time to screen the results because of the several infractions dicovered during the exercise.

Madueke John, a candidate said that the long wait for the results has held some of the candidates back, while also causing a lot of tension.

“With everything we are hearing from JAMB and other media reports we are getting, we are tensed.

“I know I did not do anything that will incriminate me during the exams but the entire process this time around has really changed.

“If JAMB, while screening, discovers those who are innocent, why don’t they release those ones and continue screening others, seriously, this is taking forever.

“I really don’t know what to expect again, but please, they should just focus on this year’s exercise and release at least parts of the results to reduce the tension.”

Another candidate, Henrietta Adams said that the board is undoubtedly doing what it deemed best for the country.

She, however, added that it would also do a lot of good if some of the results are released.

Adam added that the long wait has caused some of the candidates to be unsure of what may happen at the end of the day.

She said: “Even if you are sure you did not commit any malpractice during the exercise, with the way the entire process is going, one is forced to start thinking if one’s result will be held for mere turning his or her head during the examination.

“I truly don’t know what to say or expect again, I am just confused, if at least some results were released in parts like last year, then at least, one will be hopeful but as it is, only God knows what they may come up with next.

“We will continue to wait but please JAMB, do something soonest.”

Mr Joseph Onimisi, a candidate’s parent, commended the board for exposing some of the corruption in the system, but advised that parts of the results be released too.

This, he said would reduce the criticism of the board by those sceptical of the intention of the board, adding that the entire process may take longer than the board expected.

The board had continued to assure that it would release the results of the 2019 UTME as soon as it was done screening the entire results, to cut out those who were involved in one malpractice or the other during the exercise. (NAN)

JAMB to release UTME results Monday

JAMB to Release 2019 UTME Results from Monday

The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has assured candidates of the 2019 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) that results would be ready from April 29.

The Board’s Head of Media and Publicity, Dr Fabian Benjamin, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Saturday in Bwari.

Benjamin said that screening of the results would soon be over and the result released.

“We are still screening but hopefully, anytime next week, the results will be ready,” he said.

Speaking also on the board’s readiness to screen results of UTME candidates from 2009 to 2018, Benjamin said this would begin after the release of the 2019 results.

He said this was part of the board’s effort to address the issues of malpractice in the system.

The board had stated that it would only release the 2019 UTME results after undergoing thorough screening to identify and apprehend examination cheats.

The process would identify those involved in multiple registration through biometric capturing and also address group registration by some elite schools, who end up mixing candidate’s data.

The board said: “Normally, results are expected to be out within 24 to 48 hours as obtained in previous examinations held in 2017 and 2018.

“However, the board does not want this to be business as usual.

“Hence the programmed delay, which is part of its deliberate effort to properly scrutinize, identify and address all forms of examination malpractice.

“The board will continue to act decisively with regards to any irregularity discovered even after results are released.

“However, the board has made it a point of duty to screen all activities at all centres via CCTV recordings, to ensure that it does not release results of compromised examinations.”

The board, while regretting all inconvenience caused in the process, reaffirmed its commitment to providing equal opportunity to all candidates in order to articulate their aspirations.

JAMB said that effective from when it would officially release the results, all candidates can simply send RESULT, via SMS, to 55019 using the same number that was used for registration.

The result, it said, would be replied as an SMS shortly after.

This process, the board explained, was simplified to eliminate exploitation by business centres and cyber cafés who often take advantage of candidates.

It also urged candidates to ignore all messages in circulation on how to check the results as they were all products of deceit.

The 2019 UTME was conducted from April 11 to April 18 and over 1.8 million candidates registered for it. (NAN)

We’ll contact you via phones when 2019 UTME results are ready, JAMB tells candidates

We’ll contact you via phones when 2019 UTME results are ready, JAMB tells candidates

The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board says though it is intensifying efforts to ensure that results of the 2019 UTME are released after the Easter break, it would reach out to candidates through their telephone numbers as as soon as all the results are ratified.

The board’s Head, Media and Information, Dr. Fabian Benjamin, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Sunday in Lagos.

According to him, candidates should not be carried away by what he described as rumours and misleading information in some sections of the media, especially the social media.

NAN reports that the 2019 UTME was conducted nationwide from Thursday, April 11 to Wednesday, April 18.

Over 1.8 million candidates registered for the examination.

“The board wants to distance itself from such rumours about releasing the results of candidates of the just-concluded UTME and steps to check these results as being speculated.

“Candidates should disregard this information, as it is not true. It is not emanating from the board.

“No results have been released yet. Yes, the results are all ready, but we are yet to release them because they are still being ratified.

“The board is carrying out all the checks and balances regarding these results by way of viewing the CCTV camera as well as attend to all findings brought before it while the examination lasted.

“The release of the result will be publicised as soon as we are through with all the board has set out to achieve. We will let the public know

“Candidates should not bother themselves going to any cyber cafe to check any result.

“Our result check has been standardised. We will forward the results to the respective telephone numbers of those candidates who are deserving of it,” he said.

2019 UTME: JAMB arrests over 50 professional exam writers

2019 UTME: JAMB arrests over 50 professional exam writers

The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board on Monday said it has uncovered and arrested over 50 ‘Professional Examination Writers’ who specialized in writing examination for candidates for a fee.

The board’s weekly official bulletin, tagged: ‘JAMBULLETIN’, signed by JAMB’s Head, Media and Information, Dr Fabian Benjamin disclosed this in Lagos State.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that over 1.8 million candidates are expected to sit for the board’s ongoing Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination that commenced nationwide on Thursday, April 11.

The board said it uncovered a group described as ‘Professional Examination Writers’ who specialises in writing examination for candidates for a fee.

According to the bulletin, as a result of the various intelligence gathering mechanism, the board was able to uncover and arrest over 50 of such fraudulent persons in centres spread across the country.

It noted that some of the suspects were Master’s Degree holders and undergraduates of tertiary institutions in the country.

According to the bulletin, these professional examination writers connived some Computer Based Centre owners to perpetuate the crime by engaging in multiple registrations whereby the fingerprints of the actual candidates and their impersonators are captured side by side.

“The modus operandi of these UTME syndicates was confirmed when one of the kingpins was apprehended recently.

“On interrogation, he confessed to the multiple registrations of his biometrics alongside other several potential candidates preparing to sit for the examination, in exchange for a huge sum of money.

“This development led to the decision of the board to revalidate all biometrics of candidates that have taken the board’s examination in recent times.

“This timely action will enable the board to not only fish out and dismantle this registration cartels and racketeers but also bring them to book along with their collaborators,” it said.

The bulletin added that another startling discovery by the board was the fact that a substantial portion of the UTME application documents, was composed of the bogus registration.

It noted that the unwholesome application had the singular effect of inflating the total statistical data of candidates’ registration that amounted to over 30 per cent of the 1.8 million that registered for the 2019 UTME.

“The board in a bid to live up to its billings has therefore resolved to set machinery in motion to effect the arrest and prosecution of all those involved in the unwholesome act, capable of subverting the sanctity of the entire examination process,” the bulletin said.

(NAN)