By Akon Etumukwa
Some elite schools in the country have been fingered in allegations of illegally collecting exorbitant fees from students under the pretext of carrying out bulk Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination, UTME, registration for them.
The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, JAMB, in its Weekly Bulletin released by its spokesperson, Dr Fabian Benjamin, said after a diligent investigation by the Board, it was discovered that monies collected from the students “run into hundreds of millions.”
The Board therefore warned candidates, parents and guardians to desist from patronising such schools as JAMB does not do group registration, reminding them that the Federal Government recently slashed JAMB fees from N5000 to N3500 as a way of encouraging them.
“It should be reiterated that the Board does not do group registration as candidates are required to come individually for their registration,” JAMB said.
The allegation comes barely five days to the commencement of the 2019 UTME and three weeks after the Board concluded its sale of forms for the exercise.
The Board noted that in their bid to make money, the elite schools engage in several infractions in the name of group registration and other acts inimical to the interest of the candidate and the sanctity of the examination, adding that those kinds of fraudulent registrations end up distorting candidates’ data.
It cited the case of one Hillside School in Gwarimpa, Abuja where such a mix-up was reported and the school admitted to have carried out group registration.
Four candidates of the school who wanted to take physics as their UTME subject were affected and rather listed for Igbo as a result of group registration.
JAMB further cited an investigation by Bishop Gabriel Chiakoma Dunia Foundation in Auchi, Edo state, which revealed that several students submitted to the Foundation for JAMB registration were from boarding schools with a centralised organisation structure.
It noted that students affected in the process did not come individually to be registered and the foundation was not aware the students were made to pay far and above the amount stipulated by JAMB.
The exam body further reiterated that UTME was not a school based examination and therefore does not require candidates registering as a group.
“The board therefore urges elite secondary schools and other who indulge in collecting money to register candidates as a group to desist from such acts or face stiff penalties. Henceforth, people who are engaged in unwholesome registration practices would be sanctioned accordingly,” JAMB warned.