​JAMB to conduct second UTME this year 

The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) may conduct a second 2021 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination for candidates with genuine registration challenges.

The Registrar of the board, Prof. Is-haq Oloyede, made the disclosure on Wednesday in Lagos while monitoring profiling of candidates with 2021 UTME registration challenges.

“So far, we have just 17, 758 candidates with challenges that had been profiled, nationwide.

“At the end of the entire exercise, we may have to conduct another examination for those with genuine cases after the main UTME slated for June 19 to July 3,” the JAMB official said.

He reiterated the board’s commitment to ensuring that every Nigerian child desirous of tertiary education would be given an equal opportunity.

“Since I came here this morning and interacted with candidates, I have discovered that most of them are largely unserious and are basically the cause of most of their challenges.

“We keep hearing flimsy excuses such as my lesson teacher used his phone to generate the profile code, our tutorial centre helped us to register and I was not in town.

“Other reasons advanced are: I used my mother’s NIN to generate my profile code, my mummy did the registration for me,” he said.

According to the registrar, some candidates were honest enough to say they did not have money to procure UTME forms.

 “We have also seen cases where rather than send their NIN to 55019, candidates sent it to 55012, while others sent the same command with post-paid phones rather than pre-paid,” he said.

Over 500,000 candidates had claimed they were unable to register for the examination within the given time frame – before May 15. JAMB later extended the registration to May 29.

The candidates cited inability to generate a profile code and difficulty in obtaining the National Identification Number (NIN).

JAMB had insisted that no candidate would be allowed to sit for the examination without providing the NIN.

Following the challenges, the board allowed a two-week window for the affected people to lodge their complaints at its offices or registration centres and get help.

Addressing journalists later, Mr Oloyede called on state ministries of education to regulate activities of tutorial centres as a strategy to save the education sector from collapse.

Mr Oloyede said that activities of some tutorial centres remained a hindrance to efforts at sanitising the country’s education system.

According to him, tutorial centres are a haven for examination malpractice.

The JAMB registrar said some tutorial centres held the system to ransom with ungodly activities.

He said that many operators of the centres were school dropouts operating from dilapidated, abandoned and uncompleted structures.

He regretted that some parents were patronising them with delight.

“These people are just introducing these candidates to how to beat the system, how to make sure that they get questions, particularly fake questions, because they cannot get JAMB questions,” he said.

The registrar said that parents must learn to allow their children and wards to go through the normal process of learning for them to be psychologically mature for tertiary education.

“Another major challenge threatening the system is that of intruding parents,” the JAMB official said.

“They are intruders, who will not allow these children to think rightly and do things on their own but want to hurriedly push them into primary, secondary and tertiary schools at very tender ages.

“That is why many of them are prone and exposed to so many mistakes.

“In order to show the nation that the problem of registration is not what a section of the media is painting it to be, we came up with this initiative of asking all candidates with genuine excuses to visit our offices nationwide,” he said.

The registrar said through the process JAMB discovered that some candidates went as far as using their bank verification numbers in a bid to get their profile codes rather than the NIN.

​Census will not consider religion, ethnicity —NPC

The National Population Commission says the population census will not take into consideration the number of adherents of any religion or the number of members of ethnic groups.

It, therefore, denied including a religious category in the questionnaires being distributed in the first pre-test exercise for the next population and housing census in the country.

The Director, Public Affairs of the NPC, Udi Joseph, said this in a statement on Wednesday while reacting to viral Whatsapp messages claiming the NPC had made two separate categories for Muslims and one category for Christians in its questionnaire.

In a statement titled, ‘NPC Refutes Fake News on Religion in Census Questionnaires’, the organisation said even in previous population census exercises, religion and ethnicity were not considered.

The statement read in part, “The attention of the NPC has been drawn to a misleading WhatsApp message circulating to the effect that the population census questionnaire has questions on religion.

“The message alleges that there are some parts of the questionnaire where respondents need to tick the religion for every citizen but Islamic religion has been divided into sects while Christianity has not, the objective being to say that Muslims are small in the country.

“For the records, the two recent censuses of 1991 and 2006 respectively had no provisions for religion and ethnicity. And this was deliberately given the emotive nature of these two issues in Nigeria.”

The NPC stated that religion and ethnicity, unarguably, are important indices like any other that are very relevant for purposes of understanding the population demographics of any country but due to the volatile nature of two items in Nigeria’s national discourse, it would not be wise to do so now.

“The commission has been very receptive to the sensibilities of Nigerians who have argued that the two issues should not be part of the questionnaires till such a time when the primary and fundamental purpose of census taking, namely, to gather data for planning for sustainable national development should be effectively etched in our lives,” it said.

The NPC added that it would continue to be sensitive to the mood of the nation in designing instruments for census in order to make the otherwise data-gathering activity for planning less contentious.

It explained that before the main census, a series of stakeholders meetings will be organised where the items to be inserted in the data collection instruments will be exhaustively discussed and consensus reached.

“It needs to be emphasised that this initial pre-test is to assess the effectiveness of the Enumeration Area maps created during the demarcation exercise, the census methodology, data collection methods, instruction manuals, data editing and coding, data processing and tabulation in preparation for the actual census,” it said.

Source: Punch