By Frank Ikpefan, Abuja

The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has hinted of possibility of postponement of this year’s Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME).

The examination (UTME) is slated to hold between June 5 and 19.

The examination body however confirmed that the mock examination that is slated for May 20 will go on as scheduled.

The board stated the decision to either postpone the examination or to continue as scheduled would be taken later on Friday at a meeting billed to hold with concerned individuals and institutions.

Registrar of JAMB, Prof Ishaq Oloyede, said these on Friday during a virtual meeting with relevant stakeholders ahead of the examination.

Prof Oloyede blamed the development on the difficulties being experienced by the candidates in their efforts to register.

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He said about 600,000 candidates who have indicated interest to participate in the 2021 UTME are yet to register.

The registrar said: “We are here to commend you and also to apologise to you for putting you through some hardships, especially in your efforts to register. Most of these things are outside our purview. They have to do with government policies and we have little or no control over them.

“While the mock examination will go on as scheduled we cannot say the same of the main examination. This is primarily because of NIN. We have more than 600,000 candidates who have indicated interest in our examination but are yet to receive their details.

“The possibility of shifting the exam forward is still high; but that will be determined after our meeting with stakeholders. This is because about 600,000 candidates who have indicated interest in the exam are yet to register. There is need to give everyone the opportunity.”

Oloyede said so far, 1.1 million candidates have registered for the 2021 UTME, stating that the board anticipates approximately 1.9 million applicants at the end of the exercise.

The JAMB boss noted that even though 50 per cent of candidates have already registered without problem, there was need to carry everyone along, adding that after meeting with stakeholders, they will decide on whether to shift the exam forward or not.

While apologising for the new initiatives introduced in the 2021 UTME, Prof Oloyede explained that it was not to punish candidates but to rather exposed some candidates who are in the habit of indulging in various forms of malpractices.

The registrar said: “We apologise for putting you through some hardship in the registration. The government directed that anyone participating in JAMB must have their NIN. This is beyond our control. Those who are yet to register should do so.

“The mock exam is billed to come up on Thursday. It is an exam meant to test our capability. As you all know, the main exam is coming up on June 5 and 19 2021.

“We are meeting with stakeholders today to discuss about the issues and on whether we will shift the exam date forward or not. We will brief the media on the outcome of the meeting tomorrow (Saturday 15, May).

“Shifting the exam date is not the solution, at the meeting we will discuss on how some of the problems encountered by candidates would be resolved. It is important that we carry everyone along.”

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