As the 2018 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) commenced across the country, some candidates who sat the exam at the Federal College of Education (Technical), Bichi, Kano, have experienced difficulties over abrupt technical faults developed by computer systems.
The candidates, who were distraught by the development, were more than half of the total 196 who were scheduled to take part in the examination at the centre.
According to an eyewitness, who craved anonymity, the candidates, who were already in the hall, had to wait till others finished their examinations before they were allocated computer systems.
The source added that some of the candidates, who were distressed by the development, urged the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) to avert such scenarios in subsequent sessions.
But one of the independent monitors at the centre, Dr. Salihu Abdullahi, said as soon as others completed their examinations, the affected candidates were allocated systems, “and from then on, everything became smooth again.”
Meanwhile, many of the CBT centres owned by public universities have been barred from taking part in the ongoing examination, as a result of the ongoing strike by the non-academic staff of the universities.
The situation is, however, different at the University of Ilorin where the examination held without any problem.
Also at the University of Lagos, while the examination held at a private CBT centre located on the campus- ETC Computer-Based Test Centre, the situation is not so with the university’s centre at located at the Centre for Distance Learning due to the strike by the non-academic staff.
It would be recalled that that the striking workers had disrupted the Mock examinations conducted by JAMB recently, over what the workers described as continued disregard for them and the insensitivity by the Federal Government.
The striking workers, comprising the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), Non-Academic Staff Union and the National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT) have embarked on indefinite nationwide industrial action since December 4, 2017.
The unions, under the umbrella of the Joint Action Committee (JAC), had also staged peaceful protest in Abuja on Thursday, insisting that until their allowances are paid, there would be no going back.
They have also threatened to disrupt the conduct of UTME in any CBT centre belonging to universities nationwide; the development that forced JAMB to relocate candidates from the centres.