Registration by candidates for the 2022 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) began on Saturday, with a slow start noticed in some centres visited in Lagos.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that there were different experiences at some of the registration centres monitored as the exercise kicked off.
At the WAEC Training and Testing Centre (WTTC), one of the centres visited by NAN correspondent, the officials had yet to register any candidate as at noon, following some technical hitches.
Mr Uchehara Uchenna, the Principal Assistant Registrar said all was set for the smooth registration/conduct of the examination at centre.
” We have about 10 candidates waiting to be registered as I speak. On our part, we are set to hit the ground running. All our equipment and facilities had been in top shape even before this period.
We have everything needed for the seamless conduct of this examination, just like it obtained the year before. Our backups, servers, generators and computers are in too shape.
“The registration which started today has experienced some hiccups on the side of JAMB, because as at 12 noon, we were still unable to successfully register even one candidate.
However, the issue was tackled by 1pm and I can assure you that all the candidates who are still around, will be registered before we close for the day.
“These candidates, although, have been coming in in trickles, being the Day 1 of the exercise,” he stated.
Uchenna said that the centre was not likely to experience any hitches, assuring that as soon as the JAMB rectifies every noticeable challenge, the WTTC would record 100 per cent success in the discharge of its duty.
Mr Olaoluwa Fadipe, IT Director, Wisdom House, another centre visited at Yaya Abatan in Ogba, said the centre was set for the registration but would not carry out the exercise until Monday, Feb. 21.
According to him, this is to ensure that JAMB tackles any technical issues usually associated with the commencement of the excercise.
“So far, everything is ready in our centre but we are not registering any candidate today because we want every challenge associated with Day 1 of registration to be stabilised.
“Some candidates have been coming to register, but they complain that they are unable to generate their profile codes. All these are also issues we want rectified, before starting registration.
“Having said this though, we expect to start registration fully by Monday, as candidates who are able to generate their profile code could also vend their pins at the designated commercial banks too,” he told NAN.
When NAN correspondent visited the WAEC International Centre at Agidingbi in Ikeja, she was informed that the registration for the examination would begin on Monday.
No reason was given for the decision by the centre.
JAMB had earlier shifted commencement of the registration exercise, earlier fixed for Feb. 12, by one week.
It said that the one-week postponement was to allow for more fine-tuning of the upgraded and more user-friendly procedures for candidates’ registration.
Meanwhile, some parents of candidates for this year’s UTME have urged JAMB to carry out daily checks on equipment in centres, before the commencement of every examination.
The parents were speaking against the backdrop of hitches experienced by some candidates at some Computer Based Test (CBT) centres in some parts of Lagos, during the 2021 UTME.
Recall that JAMB, organisers of the examination, had in 2021 delisted some 24 centres following their alleged poor performance during the conduct of the UTME nationwide.
The board had described the performance of the affected centres as falling below tolerable limit during the test.
Not less than eight of the affected CBT centres in Lagos fell in this category.
The centres experienced server failure, among other challenges, that hindered candidates from sitting for their examination on the days they were scheduled.
One of the parents, Mr David Abioye, told NAN that expectations were high for this year’s registration and administration of the examination.
“I want to plead with JAMB to do all it will take to ensure that candidates do not go through the harrowing experience they went through, especially in the course of writing the examination.
“I was here last year with my older daughter for the examination in one of the centres here in Lagos and the experience was not funny.
“My daughter had her examination scheduled for 9 am and we got to the centre before 6 am.
“Can you believe she stayed there until 3 pm before starting the examination?.We got worried, only to find out that the server was not just connecting.
“This development has a way of affecting the psyche of the candidate, no matter how well prepared.
“It is not good at all and I guess JAMB must have taken a lesson or two home from such development, going into this year’s examination,” he stated.
Another parent, Mrs Grace Ijuwa, called on JAMB to ensure it carried out a comprehensive check of all the equipment in the centres before the commencement of the examination.
According to her, this will reduce to the barest minimum issues relating to obstruction in the conduct of the examination.
She noted that visiting the centres just once before the commencement of the examination had proved ineffective.
Ijuwa said this was because some of the centre owners could have presented borrowed equipment for the visitation, after which they are returned to the rightful owners.
“There is need for on the spot assessment before every examination.
“A situation whereby candidates will go into the examination hall for a two-hour test only to finish after six hours or even not writing at all, is embarrassing to say the least.
“We had terrible experience last year and I hope that JAMB will keep its head high this year by ensuring that the ugly incident does not repeat itself,” she stated.