Stories by Adebayo Olodan
As the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) commenced across the 21 CBT centres in Kwara State and other parts of the country, some candidates have called for the upgrade of computers to provide mathematical calculations for the examination.
The candidates spoke with our reporter in separate interviews in Ilorin after writing their examination on Saturday.
The candidates, who wrote Mathematics and other science subjects, regretted that the computer did not have scientific calculator thereby making it difficult for them to solve some problems.
According to them, since candidates were not allowed to carry calculator and other writing materials into the examination hall, they said that in arriving at answers for some questions, they engaged in guess work.
Lere Olayinka, a candidate who sat for Mathematics, English, Physics and Chemistry at Damdav CBT Centre, Olorunsogo, Ilorin said despite being proficient in the use of computer, “the elementary calculator on the computer made it difficult for me to solve difficult questions confronted during the examination. Added to the challenge we faced was the fact that we were not allowed to use biro or any other writing materials.
For Bukola Aderibigbe, who wrote her UTME at the same centre and is hoping to study Accounting at the University of Ilorin, the 17-year-old resorted into guessing as she could not solve some Mathematics calculation with the in-built calculator on the computer.
“I discovered I had headache in the course of the examination as I was battling to solve some mathematical problems. I tried as hard as possible to get the answers correctly but in a situation where I had no paper nor space to solve the questions, I resorted to guess work.”
For Adetunji, who said he sat for the UTME at Kwara Television Premises, Old Jebba Road, Ilorin, he applauded the Joint Admissions Matriculation Board (JAMB) for introducing CBT. He however called for the installation of an application that will ease calculation on the computer.
Adetunji, who intended to study Biochemistry in the university said, “I really appreciate JAMB for introducing CBT which is by miles better than the former paperwork. However, I wish to appeal to the Board to consider installing an application that will assist the candidates in solving mathematical problems.”
Meanwhile, it was observed that some of the candidates got to their examination centres in Ilorin late. Most of the affected candidates, who spoke on condition of anonymity blamed their lateness on various reasons.
It would be recalled that there are four sessions (7am, 9am, 1:30pm and 3:00pm) for the examination.
According to a male candidate who came late to a CBT centre at Olorunsogo, he blamed his lateness on construction work at Geri Alimi. He said, “We were coming from Eyenkorin without the knowledge that some routes have been blocked at Geri Alimi, so we had to make several U-turns but thank God I got here before it was too late.”
In his reaction, a female candidate, who also asked not to be named, said, she could not locate Damdav CBT centre on time adding that, “Even most of the commercial motorcyclists plying Geri- Alimi Olorunshogo route did not know the name of the centre. I went through a torrid time and it took me about 15minutes to locate the centre after getting to Olorunshogo.”
…applicants abandon WASSCE for UTME
Some candidates writing the ongoing 2019 West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) were not able to sit for their examination last Thursday following a clash with the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) which started the same day with three sessions scheduled daily.
JAMB and WAEC had earlier promised to sort out the clash in timetables which affected about 23 Entrepreneurship/Trade WASSCE subjects scheduled to hold during the six days that the UTME would last.
Senior Secondary School (SSS) 3 candidates writing the WASSCE were scheduled to write Animal Husbandry and Store Management last Thursday but because the time clashed with the UTME, missed the examination.
A parent, who does not wish to be named, said his daughter and about 20 others at Providence High School, Fagba, could not sit for Animal Husbandry scheduled to start 9.30am about 30 minutes after they were to write their UTME at the Lagooz CBT Centre, O’Riley Agege, Lagos.
“My daughter could not write Animal Husbandry today. She was to write UTME at Lagooz School by 9a.m. But the exam did not start until 11am. By the time she got back to her school, she did not meet the invigilators for (Animal Husbandry). She was not the only one affected.
“There were about 20 of them. But their teachers told them they could get a chance to do an alternative version of the paper on the 15th,” he said.
A teacher at Winners Treasure Kids School, Ketu, also said the clashing timetables did not affect most pupils in her school.
A pupil from another school said nobody was affected in his school because none of them offered the subjects written on Thursday.
Meanwhile, the UTME went well in centres monitored by newsmen.