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1,475,477 Candidates To Take 2015 UTME, As Exams Begin Tuesday

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THE Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board(JAMB), on wednesday disclosed that one million, four hundred and seventy-five thousand, four hundred and seventy-seven (1,475,477) candidates will sit for this year’s Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examinations, scheduled for between Tuesday, March 10, and Saturday, March 21, across 400 centers in the country and seven foreign countries. 

  The 2015 UTME, JAMB said, marks the commencement of full-blown Computer Based Test, in which 208 prison inmates, drawn from Kaduna and Ikoyi prisons, and 192 visually impaired candidates will participate.

We learnt that the seven foreign countries, where the examination will take place are Ghana, Cameroon, Republic of Benin, London, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and Ethiopia. The Registrar and Chief Executive of JAMB, Prof. ‘Dibu Ojerinde at a press briefing on Thursday in Abuja, however, said applications for 2015 UTME showed a slight decrease of 156,695 candidates, when compared with that of 2014 when 1,632,172 candidates applied for the examination. 

  Imo State has the highest number of applications with 104,381, while Delta State comes second with 78,854 candidates. Anambra State has a total of 77,689 candidates who applied for the examination while FCT has the lowest with 4,085. Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states, where Boko Haram has displaced several resident, also rank among the lowest with 15,692, 15,613 and 10,044 candidates respectively.

 Ojerinde attributed the decline in the number of applications to insecurity in some parts of the country, adding that the registration for the CBT had also eliminated the incidence of dual or multiple registration by candidates. The JAMB Registrar also cited the mad rush for tertiary education outside the shores of Nigeria as a contributory factor for the low application by candidates this year, adding that the examination would mark a final departure from the Paper Pencil Test and the Dual Based Test. 

  He said, “Owing to the prevailing insecurity in parts of the North, states such as Zamfara, Adamawa, Borno, Niger, Kebbi, Sokoto and Taraba have very low patronage in terms of candidates’ applications. “The effect of insecurity can be seen in the rate of registration, especially in the North-East. We want to move this country forward; we want to curb examination malpractices and we want to do it the way it is done the world over. The President has endorsed our effort. The beneficiaries of pencil-based examination did not want the Computer-Based Test.” For the visually impaired, Ojerinde explained that they would use the Braille note Apex Computer to write the examination, stressing that most of the candidates for the UTME had printed their e-registration slips with which they would sit the examination. 

  Ojerinde who debunked a report that the Board had postponed the examination explained that the transformation to a full blown Computer Based Test mode became imperative in order to resolve the challenges faced by the Board in the conduct of its examination. He stressed that the Board would leave no stone unturned in ensuring that the nation’s education sector is placed on the same pedestal with other developed nations. His words: “We didn’t postpone the examination as reported by a national daily. Its not fair to have reported that the examination started on Wednesday. We did not tell them come for examination yesterday. We believe that we have enemies who don’t want this to work. We shall do it. “Next week is when examination starts and not yesterday. The effect of insecurity can be seen in the rate of registration especially in the North. We want to move this country forward, we want to curb examination malpractices and we want to do it the way it is done world over. The president has endorsed our effort. The beneficiaries of pencil based exam did not want the computer based test.

  Ojerinde also disclosed that, applications for 2015 UTME showed a slight decrease of 156,695 candidates, when compared with that of 2014 when 1,632,172 candidates applied for the examination. Imo State has the highest number of applications with 104,381, while Delta State comes second with 78,854 candidates. Anambra State has a total of 77,689 candidates who applied for the examination while FCT has the lowest with 4,085. Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states, where Boko Haram has displaced several resident, also rank among the lowest with 15,692, 15,613 and 10,044 candidates respectively

Ekiti Varsity Workers On strike Over Unpaid Salaries 

Academic and other activities at the Ekiti State University, Ado-Ekiti, have been paralysed following the strike embarked upon by workers’ unions in the institution to press for payment of their outstanding salaries.. The unions embarked on the strike yesterday, complaining about the non-payment of their outstanding salaries. The workers, under the aegis of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU) and National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT), vowed not to return to work until their outstanding wages were paid. Part of their grouse was the failure of government to offer any explanation for the non-payment of their January and February salaries. 

The EKSU-ASUU Chairman, Olufayo Oluodo, said the academic staff had no option than to stay away from work because non-payment of their salaries has made life difficult for them. Oluodo said: “Our members have no money again to be moving up and down; we are being owed two months and we have not been paid at all this year. “We have made our position known to the university authorities and we have written to the state government on the matter. “We have met with the deputy governor to resolve the matter and another meeting with government has been slated for tomorrow.” SSANU Chairman, Kolawole Falade, and NASU Chairman, Tope Akanni, said they are also going on an indefinite strike to press home their demand for the payment of the two-month arrears of their salaries. They called on the authorities concerned to ensure the payment of their salaries to make life easy for them and their dependants.

Delta State Polytechnic Students Protest Over Fee Hike 

Students of the Delta State Polytechnic, Ozoro, Delta State on Wednesday took to the streets to protest against sudden hike in school fees by management of the institution. We gathered that the students’ protest resulted in traffic gridlock in the areas as they marched through. The protest, which was said to have started at about 1pm, lasted for over two hours and paralysis academic activities within the school.

 The students, who carried placards with inscriptions such as “reduce our school fees now” and “return to the old school fees,” said they would not call off the protest unless the school authorities reverse its decision. It took the timely intervention of police officers from Ozoro Police Division, code-named Dragon Squad, who were promptly drafted to the scene to maintain law and order, for the protest not to turn violent. 

A female student of the Business Administration Department in the institution, who preferred anonymity, said the students were protesting the sudden increase of school fees from N32,000 to N54,850 for old and new students. The students alleged that three of their colleagues were rushed to the hospital for medical attention, having sustained gunshot injuries from stray bullets during the protest. Public Relations Officer, PRO, of the institution, Mr. B. Ekanem, declined commenting on the protest, saying he was not in the right mood. 

When contacted, state Police PRO, DSP Celestina Kalu, denied that any student was shot during the protest. Unconfirmed report reaching our news desk has it that the Delta State Polytechnic, Ozoro, has been shut down by the management. 



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