JAMB-UTMEThe Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) had for the past six weeks, put the application documents for the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME/Direct Entry) on sale.The sale of the UTME and DE application documents commenced on Thursday, January 10th, 2019 and ended on Thursday, February 21st, 2019.

The number of candidates that registered for the 2019 UTME increased due to the fee slashed by the Federal Government from N5, 000 to N3, 500. Many candidates who were interviewed disclosed that they were encouraged to register when they discovered that they could afford the new fee.

The UTME is for candidates seeking admission into universities, polytechnics/monotechnics, innovative enterprise institutions and colleges of education. Direct Entry (DE) application is for direct admission to second year for first degree programmes. It is mandatory for all candidates to take the UTME to be eligible for admissions while the DE candidates would have had an advanced qualification before being considered for admission.

At the close of the sale of e-PIN on Thursday, February 21st, 1,855,633 million candidates had registered for the UTME and 93,748 candidates for DE application. Also 55,214 candidates who purchased the e-PIN on the last day were allowed to register before the close of registration on Monday, February 25th, 2019.

At the close of registration on Monday, February 25th, 2019, 1,881,488 million candidates registered for the 2019 UTME. In the 2016 UTME, before Prof. Is-haq Oloyede assumed office, the board registered 1,592,462 million candidates. An increase of 129,774 candidates was recorded in the 2017 UTME as the board registered 1,722,236 million candidates.

In 2017, the board introduced innovations such as profile creation to modification of the biometric capturing already in existence in the registration process to eliminate all forms of impersonationandimprovetheregistration process.

There was also asignificant improvement in the number of candidates registered in the 2018 exercise with much improved innovations which include live picture capturing, biometrics capturing of ten fingers. The process of profile creation was modified with candidates sending their names to a code for their profile to be registered.

This system made the registration process faster and eliminated cases of wrong spelling of names.The 2019 registration is peculiar in many forms. This is the first time in decades that the board application fee will be reviewed downward.

The slash triggered an upsurge of candidates registering for the 2019 UTME. Within six weeks, the board captured over 1.8 million candidates along with their biometrics, names and other forms of identities that could be used for the UTME and other developmental needs of the country.

The board at the commencement of the 2019 registration exercise announced that it would not reschedule it examination particularly for candidates with biometric challenges. It stated that all candidates whose fingers could not be captured at the point of registration must visit the headquarters of the board in Bwari, to have their issues addressed.

From the just concluded exercise, it was noticed that many of the challenges associated with biometric during registration were man-made. Before the close of the registration, about 50 candidates whose fingers could not be captured throughout the country were invited to the board’s headquarters, but only 22 out of that number reported for capturing.

Unlike the previous years’exercises where over 24, 000 candidates who claimed to have biometric challenges had their examinations rescheduled. It is the desire of the board that henceforth, all biometric challenges would be attended to at the board’s headquarters.

It is, therefore, imperative to note that the board has been able to surmount some of the challenges bedeviling not only candidates’registration but other aspects of national life as well with the courage of its convictions.