Saturday, 15 April 2017

2017 JAMB/UTME registration process turns into frustration and stress - Vanguard

2017 JAMB/UTME registration process turns into frustration and stress
The Joint Admissions and Matriculations Board (JAMB) as headed by Prof. Is-haq Olarenwaju Oloyede has introduced a very cumbersome process of registering candidates for the 2017 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME). This process is unlike what was on ground before where over 600 e-registration centres were in use throughout the federation. The centres are now reduced to just about 240.

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Even the previous arrangement with over 600 e-registration points was not without lots of bottlenecks due to the overwhelming number of students seeking various admissions into tertiary institutions of learning.

Then most applicants and the parents/ guardians had expected an improvement on what was on ground, but the Oloyede-led team reduced the centres to just 240, thereby multiplying the problems.

Unlike what has been going on in the past when candidates were made to complete their registration through various accredited cyber cafes spread across the 36 states and Abuja, candidates are now made to cluster around very few CBT Centres to complete their registration with full biometrics.

Instead of making payments and fill the form from one point as was done previously, this new experience requires candidates to go through the rigour of first, generating their Remitta codes from a cyber cafe and then go queue up in banks to make payment for forms where their profiles and pins for registration will be generated. After these long processes which usually takes about one full day or two, the real problem begins as they will now have to go to the approved CBT Centres which are very limited in number to queue up for days before filling the forms online and then do their thumb printing.

The centralization of the registration centres which now requires candidates from more than two local governments to register around just one CBT centre is creating serious bottlenecks, pains and frustrations as candidates who have already made their payments in the bank are compelled to queue up under the scorching sun for days just to complete a simple registration process that a simple mobile app can achieve through smart phones in less than 10 minutes from the comfort of their homes.

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One cannot help wondering how in today’s world that is highly driven by technology, the JAMB team are still groping in the dark. Under the current JAMB leadership a supposedly “improved automated system” is now running slower than manual and also taking us back to our days in the 80s when every candidate in Lagos State had to go queue up at the Millverton Road office of “almighty JAMB” to buy hard copies of the form amidst fighting, tips, lobbying and even briberies. This situation underscores the necessity of the use or appreciation of technology by many public office holders in Nigeria today.

In today’s world, computer illiteracy is an unpardonable offence and I am of the opinion that before any appointments are made into public offices, candidates selected should be screened to ensure adequate computer literacy, appreciation and competence to be able to ascertain their preparedness to use technology in driving service delivery.

If we really want Nigeria to make progress sensitive public offices must be truly professionalized and in addition to whatever qualifications that appointees may passes, computer literacy and proficiency be made a compulsory criteria.

It is very shameful that in this dispensation our children are made to queue up under the scorching sun just to complete a registration process of JAMB that their counterparts in other African countries achieves in minutes with their smart phones from the comfort of their homes. What a shame!!

Fred Omeri is a Lagos based public affairs commentator.

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