By Akon Etumukwa
As the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, JAMB, prepares to announce a date for the commencement of the 2019 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination, UTME, the Board has said the slash in registration fees accounted for the high number of candidates it registered for the exercise.
A weekly Bulletin of JAMB released by its spokesperson, Dr Fabian Benjamin, today, showed that at the close of registration on Monday, 25th February, 1, 881,488 candidates registered for the 2019 UTME.
Earlier at the close of the sale of e-PIN on Thursday, 21st February, 1,855,633 candidates had registered for the UTME and 93,748 had registered for direct entry application.
But the Board said a total of 55,214 candidates who purchased the e-PIN on the last day were allowed to register before the close of registration on Monday 25th of February 2019.
JAMB further noted that the number of candidates increased largely due to the fee slashed by the Federal Government from N5,000 to N3,500.
According to the exam body, many candidates who were interviewed disclosed that they were encouraged to register when they discovered that they could afford the new fee.
“The slash triggered an upsurge of candidates registering for the 2019 UTME. Within six weeks, the Board was able to capture over 1.8 million candidates along with their biometrics, names and other forms of identities that could be used for the UTME and other developmental needs of the country,” the Board said.
Recall that the sale of the UTME and Direct Entry, DE, application documents commenced on Thursday, 10th January, 2019 and ended on Thursday, 21st February, 2019.
“In the 2016 UTME, before Prof. Is-haq Oloyede assumed duty, the Board registered 1,592,462 candidates; an increase of 129,774 candidates were recorded in the 2017 UTME as the Board registered 1,722,236 candidates,” JAMB stated.
The Board said it has taken measures to drastically reduce the number of candidates with biometric challenges and find a lasting solution to perennial issue of failure of biometric capturing.
“During registration, the candidates’ ten fingers are captured and are used in the processing and documentation of data for the candidates’ UTME and DE. The Board decrees that no candidate should be allowed into the examination hall without first being verified to prevent impersonation,” it said
JAMB noted that during the 2019 UTME/DE registration, the Board was able to register the twenty-two candidates out of the fifty-two candidates with biometric difficulties forwarded to the Headquarters.
“This is against the over 24,000 candidates whose examinations were rescheduled on account of biometric challenges in previous years. The adoption of biometrics in the conduct of the Board’s examinations is here to stay. At the same time, candidates can be rest assured that their fingerprints will not be used for any purpose other than identification,” it noted.