Unified Matriculation Fraud

2013 UTME Examination
2013 UTME Examination

Like in other years, parents, security men, invigilators, school authorities and candidates conspire to compromise the integrity of the 2013 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination

By Anayo Ezugwu   |  May 13, 2013 @ 01:00 GMT

THE level of examination malpractice and fraud witnessed nationwide on April 28, during the 2013 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination, UTME, has justified the recommendations of the Presidential Committee on Rationalisation and Restructuring of Federal Government Parastatals, Commissions and Agencies that the examination body should be scrapped.

The April 28 examination was marred by fraud because some desperate parents and candidates colluded with some unscrupulous security men and invigilators to compromise the integrity of the examination. There were reports that candidates in some of the centres in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, were forced to pay N500 each by their invigilators for the feeding of the security personnel attached to the centres. Some of them who refused to pay were not allowed into the examination hall until the dying minutes of the examination.

Rufai
Rufai

In Lagos where Realnews visited some of the centres, it was observed that some officials, particularly invigilators and security men, worked with some parents and candidates to compromise the integrity of the examination. Some of the desperate parents and candidates bribed the invigilators and policemen attached to some of these centres to overlook the fraud. One of the candidates in Apapa area of Lagos said he paid N5,000 to the security men to enable him go into the hall with his mobile phone. The essence of going in with the phone, according to him, was to allow him to receive prepared answers from hired people outside the hall.

Even there were no reported leakage of questions papers this year, some ad hoc officials quietly gave out the question papers to mercenaries around the centres shortly before the commencement of the examination. The mercenaries hurried to a corner, answered the questions and passed the answers to the candidates through mobile phones that were smuggled into the exam halls. But a JAMB official, who pleaded anonymity, said such efforts would amount to nothing because the questions were not the same. “Question papers given to candidates were not the same. Even though they wrote the same subjects, we had organised it in such a way that questions were not similar. A candidate writing Government could have Type A question, while the one sitting beside him could have Type D. I can tell you that this is one of the best examinations we have organised in recent times,” the official said, adding that there was no act of violence or disruption before, during and after the examination in his centre.

Dibu Ojerinde, the registrar, Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, JAMB, has also described the 2013 UTME as successful. However, he said, reports from various centres across the country revealed that there is still room for improvement in the conduct of the examination. But some educationists believe that the increase in malpractice in this year’s examination was as a result of the comments by Ruqayyatu Rufai, minister of education, that only 520,000 out of the 1.7 million candidates who registered for the examination would be offered admission to all the tertiary institutions across the country. About 320,000 of this number will make it to the university while the rest will be shared between the Polytechnics and the Colleges of Education.

“The major challenge is that, we have 1.7 million candidates sitting for the matriculation examination when we have only 520,000 spaces for federal, state and private universities, polytechnics and colleges of education. If one million passed, what are we going to do with the remaining 500,000? We will not expand the carrying capacity without expanding the facilities. What are we going to do with the large number of students out there? I feel the pain. Mr. President is very much concerned. If you have students that have passed an examination and they cannot have access to higher institutions, you can imagine their feelings in the long run,” she said.

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