The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board on Tuesday assured that this year’s Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination will hold in the troubled Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states.
The Paper Pencil Test and the Dual Based Test would begin on Saturday while Computer Based Test will commence on May 17.
It however, insisted that the PPT examination will be cancelled in 2015.
Addressing journalists in Abuja, the Registrar/Chief Executive Officer, Prof. Dibu Ojerinde, lamented that insecurity in the North- East had resulted in a sharp drop of applicants for this year’s examination.
He disclosed that 1,606,753 candidates applied for this year’s examination.
This is a decrease of 129,139 applicants compared to last year’s figure of 1,735,892.
He, however, said arrangements had been made to ensure hitch-free examinations across the country including the North-East.
“Although there are security challenges in some areas, we are making efforts to ensure that examinations are conducted in those places. If overly difficult, we will resort to Computer Based Test for the candidates,” he said.
The examination will hold simultaneously in 392 towns in Nigeria and seven foreign countries: Ghana, Cameroon, Benin, United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and Cote D’Voire.
The PPT, DBT and CBT will take place at 1,86, 133 and 153 centres respectively.
The Board advised candidates not to come with calculators, pencils, erasers and sharpeners to examination Centres as they would be provided for them.
Warning that anyone found guilty would be prosecuted in line with Decree No.33 of 1999, it also advised candidates not to come with mobile phones.
Ojerinde said the board had engaged the services of security operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission as well as those of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission to monitor the examination.
They would join those of the Nigerians Security and Civil Defence Corps, the Nigerian Police and State Security Service.
The JAMB’s boss blamed universities for not filling up their admission spaces thereby compounding the carrying capacity crisis.
He said, “As i am talking to you, some of the universities especially the federal ones have not filled up to 50 percent of their carrying capacity.
“Some of these universities have not admitted up to their carrying capacity. Then you begin to wonder why. The spaces are there, the universities refused to fill that, why? and they are taking adequate fund.
“They have to wake up. The spaces are there. Government has done it in such a way that access has opened for them. Why are they not doing it. If they push me to the wall, I will publish their names.”
He advocated for free teachers and technical education to encourage enrollment into the Colleges of Education.
He confessed that he was a beneficiary of free education in the College of Education because he did not have the money to go the university at the time.
“Can we make teachers education free? Can we make technical education free. You will see the upsurge,” he said. (Punch)