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The Association of Tutorial School Operators (ATSO) has described the recent development by Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) to reduce Computer-based Test (CBT) centres as the one which will have effect on candidates willing to register for the 2023 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination.

This is contained in a reaction to the reduction in the number of computer-based centres across the country by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board headed by JAMB registrar, Prof. Ishaq Oloyede when making the announcement on Monday in Ikeja, Lagos, while meeting with commissioner for education across the country.

The Informant247 gathered that JAMB decided to reduce the centres for reasons such as poor facilities, not complying with the guidelines of the Board, and involvement in examination malpractice among others.

Though the total number of CBT centres axed by the board was not given, investigations revealed that in Ogun State, the number of CBT centres was reduced from 43 to 21, in Abia State, the number was reduced from 21 to 14 and in Kogi State, it was reduced from 17 to 16.

Dotun Sodunke, ASTO national president, who spoke to newsmen explained that although it was a good step to curb substandard CBT centres in the country, but said that it would not be enough for candidates to conveniently sit for 2023 UTME.

He said, “The CBT reduction will make candidates pass through a lot of rigours to sit the exam. I can’t imagine the stress and risks the students will experience. Some of the may be taken to far away CBT centres due to the reduction. A candidate in Surulere may be taken to Badagry. By the time the candidates go through the high cost of transportation, travel long distances, and sleep in hotels to sit the exam, some will get kidnapped, raped and a lot will fail and we won’t get the best into our universities. It is not worth it.”

Sodunke suggested that JAMB should build mega senatorial CBT centres of 5,000 capacities which will accommodate more UTME candidates.

Mr Wemi Jones, the Commissioner for Education in Kogi State, while speaking said, “This is the first time I am attending a meeting like this and a lot of issues have been cleared. Regarding the reduction in the CBT centres, we would find out what happened and tidy up any loose ends. The size of Kogi State requires that we even have more centres not that the number be reduced.”
The Commissioner for Education in Ogun State, Prof. Abayomi Arigbabu, commended the Board for the meeting.

“This is a novel idea, I mean meeting with commissioners for education and carrying them along. As a Vice Chancellor, I was part of meetings regarding preparations for the UTME. But this is the first time a meeting of this kind is holding. You know the practice in the past is that examination bodies would just conduct exams without letting the state authorities know what is happening.”

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