The Guardian
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835 prison inmates write JAMB in three years


prisonNo fewer than 627 prison inmates predominantly from the Ikoyi Prison in Lagos State and Kaduna Prison, Kaduna State, who desire to pursue tertiary education after serving time, have written the Joint admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB)-organised Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) in the last three years.

In 2012, a total of 181 candidates who registered for UTME were inmates from Kaduna and Ikoyi prisons. The following year (2013), 196 inmates registered for 2013 UTME from both prison yards, while a total of 250 inmates wrote the same examination last year.

The total amount for the three years stood at 627. However, the recently concluded examination effectively shot the figure of inmates dreaming of tertiary education to 835 as JAMB revealed recently that 208 inmates entered for the 2015 Computer-Based Test (CBT).

Registrar and chief executive of JAMB, Prof. Dibu Ojerinde, while addressing the media ahead of the 2015 UTME disclosed that over 1.47 million candidates have been registered for the CBT.

Ojerinde, who said the 208 prison inmates who registered for the test were from Kaduna and Ikoyi prisons, lamented that the total number of candidates who registered for this year’s test was below that, which entered for the same examination last year.
He said there was a decrease of about 156, 695 applicants compared to 2014.

Imo State had the highest number of applicants with 104,381 while the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) produced the lowest number of candidates with just 4, 085 in the 2015 CBT.
Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states, which have remained under the yoke of insecurity, occasioned by Boko Haram are among the states that contributed the lowest number of candidates. They produced 15, 692; 15, 613 and 10, 044 candidates in that order.

While speaking ahead of the last examination, principal of Ikoyi Prisons School, Mr. Ayodele Obarewo, said that 28 students of the school were registered to write the examination, and they have been adequately prepared. Fourteen inmates wrote the 2014 UTME at the gulag.

“We have been preparing the candidates to the best of our ability, and they have equally shown determination and focus to excel. Some teachers have been coming around to take them in various subjects as well as computer practice. They have been showing great zeal to write this examination, especially those whose term will soon expire. Such candidates are putting extra efforts to excel, to be able to participate in the post UTME,” Obarewo stated.

“However, we need more equipment in the facility, that will enable us to accommodate more of the inmates, who are interested in furthering their education,” he appealed as the school has only 10 computers, which is grossly inadequate for the 28 inmates to practice.

Head of JAMB’s public relations, Mr. Fabian Benjamin, who commented on the rising number of inmates writing the examination after last year’s exercise said integrating the inmates was part of the board’s resolve to meet global expectations of reformative institution and remolding repented prisoners to pursue their educational careers.

He suggested the adoption of CBT in the conduct of public examinations to improve the standard of education, especially in the conduct of such examinations in prisons.

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