As the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) began its 2017 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME), candidates commended JAMB as others lamented the hitches experienced at the exam centres.
Some of the candidates who spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in some parts of the country decried poor internet network.
NAN observed orderliness at most of the exam centres visited as students took their turns to write the exam.
The two-hour exams is expected to hold for seven days excluding Sunday across the country.
Some of the candidates in FCT, Osun, Ebonyi and Nasarawa states, expressed dissatisfaction over poor internet challenges at their respective CBT centres especially at Kunike International School, Ilesa road in Osogbo.
Also, candidates at the Risewise CBT centre in Kuchikau, Nasarawa state, lamented poor internet facilities.
Dauda Geoffrey at the CBT centre, Kuchikau, told NAN that he experienced some challenges ranging from bad network to system powering off as a result of power failure.
He said the operators in the centre were, however, able to manage the problems, adding that the experience can deter candidates from full concentration in the exam.
“Generally, the exam was good but some of us experienced some hitches while writing the exam because some of the computer systems were malfunctioning.
“They were logging in and out and we also experienced a situation where some of the systems were outrightly switched off.
“But the officials were able to manage the situation because for those of us with the challenge, we have to wait for some candidates to finish then we move to their system to write our exams,” he said.
Geoffrey, however, said he would rather prefer the old method of paper and pencil in writing the exam as it was stressed free.
Faith Attah, also noted that the only problem faced in the centre was that of network failure, adding that JAMB authority should look for ways of solving the problems for the next batch of candidates.
She said this would help erase the doubt of hitch-free exam from the public.
Also, Dare Monday appealed to JAMB to put in place effective and efficient structure in the conduct of the exam.
Some of the candidates also decried the unfriendly attitude of some JAMB staff that showed less concern to candidates who needed immediate attention or faced with some immediate challenges.
Earlier, Ayodele Ojo, JAMB supervisor at the centre, said the problems were minor, but promised to proffer immediate solution before subsequent batches.
Mr. Ojo also said the exam was smooth, adding that all the candidates were familiar with the computer as there was no problem of having to put them through the system.
He said that over 98 per cent of the first batch reported and wrote the exam.
He said the remaining candidates who failed to appear would be made to face the consequence as no other exam would be conducted for them.
“The exam is going on, we have checked in the candidates and like every human scheme, we are still expecting a few candidates,” he said.
Adebayo Oyelabi, one of the UTME candidates told NAN on Saturday in Osogbo, said he experienced poor network and wrong password in the event of logging into the JAMB website.
Mr. Oyelabi said the computer systems at Kunike denied a lot of candidates’ access to the UTME site, which eventually led to distraction before the intervention of the coordinator and normalcy was later returned.
“The computer will tell us, ‘No exams for you’ which made some of us to become uncomfortable.
“Some candidates have to be taken from one position to another position just to ensure easy access to the portal,’’ he said.
In Abakaliki, Rose Eze, JAMB official from Abuja and supervisor at Mastersoft Technology LTD, JAMB UTME approved centre told NAN that the innovation of the board is more preferable compare to the past system.
Ms. Eze said that the board Instruction, registration, procedures and portal, gave credit to the new development.
Ms. Eze expressed satisfaction over conducts of students at the Abakaliki centre and stated that there are no challenges of bad network or computers breakdown.
She said that the students were advised earlier to be conscious of time to end their examination properly before time.
“Generally, the exam is well conducted and no challenges experienced in this centre.
“JAMB new innovation is more preferable to other method of examination and we advised them to be time conscious to conclude their exams before time, “ she said.
Ogomu Okereke and Ndidiamaka Ukpia, JAMB candidates at the centre in their separate interviews acknowledged the innovation and advised the board to sustain it.
NAN reports that Mojeed Alabi, the 2017 UTME General Monitoring Officer for Osun, Oyo and Ogun states had told NAN about the level of preparedness at ICT centres in Osogbo for the Jamb examination. (NAN)