In a startling revelation, the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) Registrar, Prof. Ishaq Oloyede, has accused some private secondary schools of engaging in the extortion of candidates participating in the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME). The allegations were made during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily programme on Monday.
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Expressing his concern over the rising trend of private schools charging exorbitant fees for UTME registration, Oloyede disclosed that some institutions were demanding fees as high as N10,000 or N20,000, a significant increase from the official JAMB fee ranging between N6,000 and N7,000.
“What we are calling on the candidates to do is that they should go to the centre and register. But one very important thing that we are facing now with students, either with disabilities or without disabilities, is that UTME is not a school-based examination,” Oloyede emphasized.
He further revealed that these private schools were not only overcharging candidates but also mishandling the registration process, combining the data of multiple candidates on a single registration.
“Every candidate is supposed to register with his or her own phone, but these people are mixing their data together,” Oloyede added.
The JAMB registrar stressed the non-school-based nature of the UTME and the necessity of individual registration. He highlighted a denial of special group registration request from Federal Government College Bwari, emphasizing that the Board registers individual candidates for university admission, not cohorts.
“Even one institution, Federal Government College Bwari, wrote to us, ‘Can you give them (people with disabilities) special registration?’ It is not possible; we are not school-based. We register individual candidates who are going into the university; we are not registering cohorts.”
Responding to concerns about candidates with disabilities, Oloyede explained that JAMB had established specialized centres across the country to cater to their needs. The goal was to provide equal opportunities for all candidates, including those with physical disabilities.
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“The idea is that those who are suffering from physical disabilities require support. We find out that they need special attention, and this special attention cannot be easily available in 774 centres across the country,” Oloyede said.
He further confirmed that the 2024 UTME registration commenced last week and is set to close within the next four weeks. The allegations of extortion by private schools have raised questions about the integrity of the UTME registration process, prompting calls for stricter oversight and measures to prevent such malpractices.