19th March 2016,
JAMB 2016 FURORE: MURIC
SCORES JAMB ‘F9’
The 2016 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) of the Joint
Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) which ended last week was greeted
with a tornado of criticisms. The marks scored by thousands of candidates were
too low and many of them disowned the results.
Of the 1,546,633 candidates who sat for the 2016 UTME, 145,704 had issues
of multiple results. A good example is that of a 17-year-old girl in Ejigbo, Lagos State, who
scored 156 in the first result but got 196 in another result that was later
issued. This is an incontrovertible proof of JAMB’s inconsistency, ineptitude
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)
therefore declares the 2016 UTME exercise as a colossal fiasco, a monumental
scandal and a national embarrassment.
In particular, we denounce
the timing of examinations as candidates were forced to start in examination
centers from 6.30 am in compliance with JAMB time table. This arbitrary timing is also responsible for the
absence of a whopping 23,577 candidates on the day of the examination.
In a country where power
supply is epileptic and security of lives and properties cannot be guaranteed,
this is strange, shocking, callous, insensitive and irrational. The
examination body unnecessarily exposed our young ones and our future leaders to
danger. Some candidates allegedly lost
their belongings when they were attacked by hoodlums on their way to the
While we commend JAMB for the
quick release of results, we affirm that this was the examination body’s only
achievement this year. The exercise was an abysmal failure in every other area.
The fact that the House of Representatives has already condemned the exercise
reveals the grave and nationwide concern it has generated.
rescheduling of examination for 59,000 candidates in 15 states, which the board
announced yesterday, is an admission of its gross inefficiency. The board said
it relocated 59,000 candidates in 15 states because of problems in some of the
centres. This excuse does not hold any water. Neither can it extenuate JAMB’s
culpability in the fiasco.
We are constrained to reject the exclusion of those who were absent on the
day of the examination from the rescheduled seating. We contend that JAMB caused
the ‘absence’ of such a large number of candidates due to its arbitrary timing
as it made it very difficult for candidates to reach the center at such an
unholy hour. Also, some parents and wards were likely to have restrained their children
from leaving their homes at that dangerous time.
addition, it has come to our knowledge that many hijab-wearing female Muslim
candidates were either turned back at the examination centers or forced to remove
their hijab before being allowed to enter.
We opine that even those allowed into the examination halls after being so
harassed had been made to lose their orientation. Thus they were not in the
right frame of mind to take an examination. Non-Muslim religious extremists
usually do this to female Muslims to give adherents of their own faith an
advantage over Muslims in the area of education.
For example, a religiously fanatical policewoman on official duty
forcefully removed the hijab from the head of a 16-year old Muslim girl at the
JAMB examination center located at the Ogun State Institute of Technology, Igbesa,
Ogun State, flung the hijab on the dirty floor and warned her not to dare pick
it up! How could the little girl perform well in the examination after such an
This barbaric attack on an innocent girl occurred during the examination
slated for 6.30 am on Saturday, 12th March, 2016. The poor girl had
travelled all the way from her home in Festac, Lagos, the previous day, slept somewhere
in Igbesa (more than fifty kilometers from home), only to be intimidated by a
bully policewoman who should also be a mother of some kids somewhere. It is
didactic that the JAMB result of the poor girl (an hitherto brilliant student)
came out woeful as she scored below 200.
JAMB’s poor conduct of this
year’s examination has also sparked off demonstrations in Lagos as thousands of
candidates who sat for the exercise converged on the Lagos State House of
Assembly four days ago (Tuesday 15th March, 2016).
It has never been this bad and since
the whole exercise exemplifies an aptitude test for JAMB itself, the national
examination body can only be said, in all fairness, to have scored F9.
Going down history lane, we recall the decision of Nigerian
universities to start conducting their own independent post-JAMB examinations.
This decition was informed by public loss of confidence in the UTME exercise, JAMB’s
inadequacies, its flawed examination policies, alleged corrupt practices among
both its permanent and ad hoc staff and
its arbitrary award of marks. JAMB’s word had become law until the universities
decided to cut its wings. The rest is history today.
that JAMB is amenable to correction. This is March and there is still time for the examination
board to make amends before the demonstrations spread and before activists
start getting the idea to #OccupyJAMB. Nigerian legislators are also waiting in
the wings to put the final nail in JAMB’s coffin.
Cancelling the last exercise will certainly come with heavy
financial implication. The examination body may not be able to afford this. We
therefore suggest as follows:
1. JAMB should consider giving extra 25
points each to all candidates across the board in view of the fact that undermarking
is the major flaw in the last exercise.
2. Future examinations conducted by
JAMB should take the safety of candidates into consideration by starting around
9 am at the earliest.
3. Candidates should be given the
option of taking computer-based or written tests using paper and pen.
4. Ad-hoc staff must be properly
briefed and must not stop religious profiling of hijab-wearing female Muslim
5. JAMB results should be valid for
6. The examination body should coopt
security experts to its planning committees when preparing for examinations.
In view of the abysmal failure of this year’s UTME, we urge
universities within the country to lower their cut-off points and rely more on
their internally conducted post-JAMB examinations for admitting students into
their various programmes.
In the event of JAMB turning deaf ears to this public
outcry, we appeal to the Ministry of Education to wade into the matter, scrap
the examination body and allow individual universities to admit students based
on internally conducted entrance examinations, interviews, West African
Examination Council (WAEC), General Certificate of Education (GCE) and other
Finally, we charge the Inspector General of
Police to investigate, fish out and punish the erring policewoman who
maltreated the hijab-wearing female Muslim candidate at Igbesa. This should not
be too difficult as the time and place of occurrence can be used to identify
the police team which was on duty at that point in time. The oppressed female
candidate has further described the policewoman who attacked her as tall, huge
and dark in complexion.
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)