As over 1.7m candidates on Friday began sitting for 2022 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME), Internet network failure, power disruption, malfunctioning of computers were among challenges encountered by candidates.
Also slow verification process was identified among the hitches affecting candidates seeking admission into various tertiary institutions across the country.
Some candidates who arrived late were barred from participating in the exercise which started at 8am according to a report by National Accord online newspaper.
The exercise monitored by newsmen in some centres in Abuja, the nation’s capital city on Friday, however, went well and was devoid of any malpractice.
Students who wrote the examination at Distance Learning Institute, a centre located at the Central Business District of Abuja, expressed satisfaction with the conduct of the examination.
They, however, said they observed challenges of internet network failure, power disruption, malfunctioning of computers while writing the examination. They regretted that in spite of the developments, JAMB did not extend the time already fixed for the examination.
Aisha Yakubu, a 17-year old candidate who applied to read Civil Engineering at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, said that after writing at the centre, the computer allotted to her for the exercise shut down three times before she submitted her answers.
Even as she expressed happiness that she was able to submit ahead of given time, she expressed fear that some candidates may not be lucky since açcording to her, the time was not extended in spite of the challenges encountered.
“While writing the examination, we faced network problem and our computers just went off but the issues were resolved along the way. This interruption lasted between five to ten minutes. I personally encountered the problem twice while writing the examination. Even as I was about to submit my answers, my computer shut down,”she said.
“Personally, I was able to submit before my time ended,”she said while expressing satisfaction with the examination, saying most of the questions were not difficult for her.
Also, a 16-year candidate seeking admission to read Law in Benue State University,who introduced himself as Emmanuel Audu, said the intermittent power disruption resulting in shut down of computers affected his performance.
He charged authorities to endeavour to compensate candidates with extension of given time since açcording to him, the problems were not the faults of the candidates.
“I answered the questions to the best of my ability but I think the constant shutdown of computers as a result of power that was not stable greatly affected my performance. I think JAMB can do better, maybe by extending time given since the problem was not caused by candidates,”he said.
The exercise however did not start in good time at British International School, Gwarimpa, another centre in the nation’s city, following delayed verification exercise.
Also four candidates who came late when the exercise had already begun were disqualified from writing. The candidates were disallowed from entering into the examination hall by JAMB officials in the centre.
Efforts to find out the fate of candidates disallowed from participating in the process following late arrival like the case of the four candidates did not yield fruit as the spokesperson of JAMB, Dr Fabian Benjamin, did not pick calls made to him.