A 15-year-old boy who scored the highest in the 2019 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examinations, UTME has been barred by Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, JAMB, has been from gaining admission into the University of Lagos, UNILAG.
The boy who hails from Abia State scored 347 marks considered the highest to emerge the best candidate in the eyes of the board.
Similarly, a 16-year-old boy from Abia State came second by scoring 346 marks just as a 17-year-old from Osun State trailed behind with 345, considered by the board as the third best result in the 2019 UTME.
The JAMB Registrar, Prof. Ishaq Oloyede, who announced this on Saturday at a media briefing, gave the names of the three best candidates as Ekene Franklin; Igban Emmanuel Chidiebube and Oluwo Isaac Olamilekan.
Oloyede did not disclose the intended courses of the best performing student, but said although the best scored candidate applied as an undergraduate at the University of Lagos, he may not get admitted on account of being under-aged.
Franklin was followed by Emmanuel Chidiebube from Abia state, aged 16, who came second with 346 points, while Isaac Olanilekon who applied to study at Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) came third, after scoring 345.
According to the examination body, some of the pranks which candidates deployed to undermine the process included, multiple registration, impersonation, deliberate disruption of the examination process, manipulation of bio-metrics, collusion of some private CBT centres with parents, syndicate of closed centres as well as extortion of candidates.
He explained that these infractions accounted for the delays in releasing the results, noting that the agency has been taking pains to screen the candidates’ bio-metric details with a view to uncovering those who engaged in multiple registration.
Giving a breakdown of the results, Oloyede said some students registered 42 times using same finger prints, multiple names in a particular centre but the bio-metric verification system deployed by the board uncovered their identity and facilitated their arrest.
“Some of the strategies deployed to compromise the integrity of the examination were multiple registration. “It would be recalled that JAMB had cautioned in the media that no candidate should register more than once and that multiple registrations adversely affect data which impact negatively on education planning in the country.
“We went further to announce that any candidate who wishes to gain admission through Direct Entry and had registered for UTME need not apply for DE separately but use the opportunity of an upgrade to the DE status at no cost without having to register more than once. Double registrations led to the cancellation of some results last year but we realised that this year not only double registrations but also multiple registrations were recorded.
“Someone for instance registered as many as 23 times for just a single examination! the foundation of examination malpractice is laid at the point of registration with the active connivance of some CBT centre owners who allowed themselves to be infiltrated by those who parade themselves as owners of tutorial classes.
“Unfortunately, some elite institutions that charge exorbitant fees, which they had made the parents part with in the name of secondary education, became active in the procurement of ‘best results’ for their students at all costs. These characters have permeated the system such that it is Herculean to confront and dislodge them. When one of the examination bodies recently decided that one category of teachers would not supervise its public examinations, all hell was let loose. However, the truth of the matter is that the body is correct in its resolve”.
Lamenting how candidates now engage in impersonation, the JAMB boss said, “In the 2019 UTME, we were able to identify a large number of impersonators who have been writing UTME for candidates. Most of the tutorial masters specialise in recruiting such professional writers for the candidates.
“They do so by using the names directly or variants of the name or by multiple registrations. An example is Anambra State where two centres registered a large number of impersonating candidates. In such cases, the results of the candidates have been cancelled and the CBT centres delisted.
“We have also tracked the registration centres and the computers used. In cases where we were able to ascertain the culpability of the centres, we delisted them. Where we have doubts, our principle is that we would rather allow 10 criminals to go scot-free than allow an innocent person to be unjustly punished.”