Hundreds of candidates for the 2022 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination in Lagos and Ogun states were left stranded and frustrated on Friday morning at some centres as downpour and system glitch disrupted their examination.
The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board-organised examination began in some 750 accredited centres nationwide, with 1.7 million candidates registered to participate.
In centres monitored in Lagos and Ogun, candidates scheduled for the first session at 7am were mostly affected by system glitch and downpour.
One of the candidates in Ogun who spoke with The PUNCH lamented that over 200 of them were unable to write the annual exam because of technical issues.
The candidate, Oba Timilehin, said he arrived early at his centre at Mountain Top University in the Abeokuta South Local Government Area of Ogun State but was unable to sit for the examination.
He said, “The first batch which was supposed to start at 7am ate into our time. Eventually, when we, the second batch, wanted to start around 10am, the officials said the network was bad and we couldn’t sit for them the exam.
“The centre said the problem was from JAMB and the whole thing was disrupted. My batch had up to 240 candidates and we all missed the paper.”
Also, a parent of one of the candidates who couldn’t sit for the examination due to technical challenges told our correspondent that some frustrated parents threatened to burn down the centre.
He said, “Candidates wept profusely having missed one full year already. They were devastated. The same thing happened last year and they had to wait for a full year. Now, this happened in 2022.
Also, according to the News Agency of Nigeria, at the WAEC Test and Training Centre, one of the accredited centres for the examination in the Ogba area of Lagos, a group of candidates were seen desperately seeking help after having missed the test.
The same situation also applied at the Wisdom House Centre, off Yaya Abatan, also in Ogba, Command Secondary School Ipaja and Lagooz Schools Orile-Agege centres.
Other centres visited by NAN are Timeon Kairos Polytechnic and Professional Institute, Ile-Epo, along the Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway.
NAN reports that despite the downpour, however, many candidates, accompanied by their parents, still turned up as early as 6am to beat the examination time in centres visited.
One of the centre supervisors at the WTTC who did not want her name in print told NAN that the examination began at exactly 8:30am.
We were actually supposed to start the examination by 8am but because of the rain, we had to give 30 minutes grace.
“We have over 240 candidates each, in both the centre one and two, out of the 250 capacity benchmark for each of these centres,” she said.
Reacting to the plight of the candidates that missed the examination as a result of the rain, JAMB’s spokesman, Dr Fabian Benjamin said, “It is unfortunate this has happened. However, technical considerations will not allow us to reschedule the examination.
“If for instance, something happened to a centre as a whole, or there is a technical collapse in a centre, that one is understandable and the board, could start considering a way out of it.
“But a situation where some candidates for the examination at a specific schedule attempted the examination, while others failed to, for whatever reason, that examination will not be rescheduled.
“We do not reschedule examination, it has come and gone. There are rules guiding all examinations; ours is not an exception,” Benjamin said.
The UTME, which started on Monday, will run until May 14, with several sessions daily at the accredited centres.