From Fred Ezeh, Abuja
Barring any last minute change in plans, the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) will commence the sale of registration form to candidates who want to participate in 2021 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) Thursday.
The registration exercise, according to JAMB, will run till Saturday May 15, while the UTME examination has been scheduled to take place between June 5th and June 19.
However, new introductions were made by JAMB in the 2021 UTME registration exercise particularly the compulsory use of National Identification Number (NIN) for any candidate that desire to participate in the exercise.
JAMB Registrar Prof Ishaq Oloyede said the compulsory use of NIN for registration was primarily to checkmate examination malpractices and aid national security.
JAMB spokesman Dr Fabian Benjamin confirmed that all was set for the commencement of the 2021 UTME registration exercise on Thursday. ‘We have put everything in place for the exercise. By God’s Grace, the examination will commence on Thursday,’ he said.
In 2020, about 1.9 million candidates registered for the UTME and a greater percentage of them sat for the examination. But just as the admission process was about to start, Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) began industrial action which lasted for several months, even after lockdown, in addition to COVID-19 pandemic that led to global lockdown for months.
Meanwhile, the announcement of date for 2021 UTME exercises by JAMB few days ago triggered questions and suspicion from candidates and admitting tertiary institutions on the fate of candidates that participated in the 2020 UTME as regards admission opportunities.
Daily Sun gathered that some institutions had complained about admission backlogs, with reference to 2020 admissions exercise which has not been conducted. There were fears from the institutions that they might be unable to accommodate fresh students because of first year students who are yet to complete their academic work that would qualify them for next level.
Many of the institutions, thus, considered opting out of the 2021 admission exercise so they could focus and admit only candidates that participated in the 2020 UTME exercise who are yet to be attended to. But JAMB vehemently rejected the decision, describing it as unfair and unjust to millions of candidates that participated in last year’s UTME exercise.