As I read this piece from The Guardian's online newspaper, my mind went back to last year when I wrote my UTME. It was horrible; my centre was so bad I thought my result would be cancelled. We were asked to pay a substantial amount(don't remember how much exactly) for the seats we sat on by the centre's proprietor. The penalty for not paying - your result will be lost. It was a threat; eventually I had to pay. Now they're saying there were no miracle centres this year - what a joke!
"THE results of about 27, 266 candidates who sat for this year’s Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) last Saturday would not be released due to their alleged involvement in large-scale examination malpractices, which the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) said it has detected.
One of the tricks is the embedding of prohibited external materials into their persons, to enable them bring such inside the examinations halls.
An example was two mobile handsets embedded in sandals in two separate locations in the country.
Similarly, at least 24 other mobile phones were confiscated from candidates from across the country, contrary to the guidelines released by the board
Announcing the results of the examination in Abuja yesterday, the Registrar/CEO of JAMB, Prof. Adedibu Ojerinde, said the new trend in the examination malpractice showed that candidates were determined to beat the system, but warned that the board would continue to devise strategies to beat such tricks on the part of the candidates.
He said the affected candidates have since been handed over to law enforcement agencies for prosecution even as he confirmed that unlike in the past, there had not been miracle centres this year. He attributed the development to the fact that the candidates were given the freedom to select where they wanted to sit for the examinations.
A total of 1, 503,931 applied for the 2012 examinations, while 1,384,644 candidates were confirmed to have results.
Details of the analysis of the applications by gender shows that 55.78 percent are males while 44.22 percent are females.
This translates to 883,082 males and 660,522 females.
336,330 candidates scored 1-169; 374,920 scored 170-199; 601,151 scored 200-249; 71, 339 scored 250-269; 901 scored between 270 and 299. Only three candidates scored between 300 and above.
Only 5,161 candidates recorded invalid results for the 2012 UTME as against 28,069 recorded last year and 96,451 in 2010.
Ojerinde attributed the drastic reduction in the number of invalid results to the increased enlightenment of candidates, and expressed the hope that with time, incidents of incomplete results would be eliminated.
About 141 virtually impaired candidates sat for the examination for the 2012 down from 200 in 2011. Also, a total of 181 prisoners, mainly from Ikoyi and Kaduna prisons sat for this year’s edition, while a total of 49 albinos registered and sat for the examinations.
Imo State has the highest registered candidates for the examination with 123,865 candidates or 8.24 percent followed by Delta with 88,876 or 5.91 percent; Anambra is third with 84,204 or 5.60 percent; Osun follows with 73,935 0r 4.92 percent; Oyo with 71,272 or 4.74 percent and Ogun follows with 71,173 or 4.73 percent.
Conversely, Jigawa tops the list of states in the Northwest with intakes with 11,529 or 0.77 percent; Kebbi recorded 7,364 or 0.59 percent; Yobe with 6,389 or 0.42 percent; Zamfara followed with 5,713 or 0.38 percent; Sokoto 5,664 or 0.38 percent while FCT comes last with 3,380 or 0.22 percent.
On examination malpractices, the JAMB boss confirmed reported incidents of fraud, noting that it was the desire of JAMB to ensure the integrity and sanctity of its examinations, saying its officials who were found to have hands in the fraud would not be spared.
He stated: “During the 2012 UTME, we had some disturbing news of extortion of innocent candidates by greedy proprietors, supervisors and invigilators.
“But we assure the public that all these people would be brought to book accordingly, just as I make bold to say that JAMB will not spare any culpable persons.
“We also know that those engaged in exam malpractices will stop at nothing to achieve their aims.
“For instance, in 2012, some discoveries and new tricks were on display by the crooks, where we discovered candidates embedding their mobile handset phones in sandals. This was discovered during our routine scanner checks after the candidates passed through the biometric verification machines.” Ojerinde added: “ A Cursory look at some of their antics will show negative ingenuity on parade, but we say that no matter how smart they think they are, they would be caught and flushed.”
Investigations conducted across all the accredited JAMB examination centers in Lagos State revealed that many schools, through their workers, turned the exercise into money-spinning ventures.
Before the students were allowed entry into their various examination premises, the UTME officials stressed the need to discard any material/luggage, other than those relevant for the examination.
Security officials, led by the officers of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDS), enforced this instruction, making the students seek the best places to hide their valuables.
Some persons promptly began demanding money to keep bags in a “warehouse”.
Some security personnel who caught candidates with handsets seized same but released them on payment of up to N1,000 each. And they made fortunes.
There were also reported instances of supervisors accepting fees to enable students carry in handsets and even bring in already solved answer sheets.
Author of this article: From Mohammed Abubakar, Abuja; Bankole Shakirudeen Adeshina and Laolu Adeyemi, Lagos."