Professor Is-haq Oloyede, the Registrar and Chief Executive of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, (JAMB), has declared that the smooth conduct of the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination mock examination in most centers across the country was a good litmus test.
Oloyede, who disclosed that the Board has already registered over 1.5 million candidates for the 2017 UTME, less than five weeks into the nationwide registration exercise, insisted that the facilities put in place were good enough for hitch-free conduct of UTME proper scheduled to hold from 13th to 20th May, 2017.
He spoke on Saturday while monitoring the conduct of the UTME mock examination in some of the Computer Based Centers in Abuja. He disclosed that about 153,000 candidates sat for the mock examination in 633 examination centers across the country.
Oloyede, explained that the essence of the mock examination was to test the new technology, he said has worked perfectly as observed in many examination centers on Saturday.
The conduct of the mock examination was generally peaceful and orderly in most of the centers monitored in Abuja, with candidates who participated in the trial test commending JAMB for the initiative.
Sunday Tribune was at the Global Distance Learning Institute, Digital Bridge Institute and the JAMB Computer Based Centre, located in Bwari, where the examinations were held in Abuja.
The JAMB Registrar, who disclosed that said: “So far so good, the orderly conduct of the examination is even better than our expectation. It is a mock examination, a trial test and the examination held smoothly”.
He added that the intention was test the technology and that from all the reports across the country, it has proved to be a perfect technology.
He thanked the Service providers, MTN and Artel who partners in the conduct of the examination for “doing a very good job”.
He said from all indication, the Board was more than ready for the main examination that is expected to kick off on 13th May, and last till 20th May, 2017.
He, however, said he has discovered that some people were bent on thwarting the effort of the Board, and that such people would not be allowed to succeed.
He vowed to persecute all those caught in various infractions during the registration exercise, saying the law would not allow them to go scot-free.
The Registrar who said he was not in a position to decide if the mock examination should be an annual event, said the Board has the option of spreading subsequent UTME for over three or four months.
He said: “I think from what you have seen, we are more than ready for the main examination. We have a control room where we monitor situation from all over the country. As at when I left office, quarter to seven this morning, at least 90 percent of the centers have reported positively; proper downloading and preparation for the exams.
“And you have also seen it from our control room that even after the first session they have uploaded the responses of the students. We have received more than 80 percent as you can and we expect that the remaining 20 percent might have responded. We believe this is a very good exercise. We do not claim perfection but we believe that Nigeria deserves the best.
“And you should not be afraid of noise; any officer who wants to serve this country must know that if he does not want to take any risk then there will be no progress.
“What we have done is just that we want to show that we believe that what worked elsewhere should work here in Nigeria and we believe that we can get these things done more efficiently and without having to spend fortune.
“We believe that we have been able to try this and we will continue to do our best. So far we have registered over 1.5 million candidates in less than five weeks and we are yet to complete the fifth week of registration because we believe that the facility that we have put in place is good enough.
“You must have also noticed that some people are hell bent at thwarting the efforts of the Board but we would not allow such people to succeed. Those of them that were caught, I believe that the law would allow them to go scot-free and the appropriate agencies would prosecute them. We promise Nigerians that we will give our best with sincerity of purpose but without caring about the nay Sayers”