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JAMB Silent Over Reps’ Call For 2024 UTME Registration Extension

In a perplexing turn of events, the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has remained tight-lipped and non-responsive to the unanimous resolution of the House of Representatives, which demanded an extension of the registration deadline for the 2024 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME). The directive came days ago, with the House urging JAMB to reopen the registration portal for an additional two weeks.

As the clock ticks down to the scheduled examination date of Thursday, March 7, 2024, JAMB is set to evaluate no fewer than 260,249 candidates nationwide. The silence from JAMB is raising concerns among candidates and stakeholders who expected a swift response following the legislative directive.

The House of Representatives, led by Hassan Shinkafi (PDP, Zamfara), raised the motion during the plenary session last Thursday. Shinkafi expressed apprehension about the economic hardships preventing some candidates from registering and warned that failure to extend the deadline could lead to the exclusion of many deserving candidates.

The motion resonated with lawmakers, leading to the unanimous adoption of the resolution without debate. The House further mandated the Committees on Education and Legislative Compliance to ensure JAMB’s compliance with the extension.

However, JAMB’s lack of action in response to the legislative directive raises questions about the board’s commitment to accommodating the concerns of candidates facing economic challenges. The registration portal, which was open from January 15 to February 26, saw 1,975,926 candidates successfully register for the UTME.

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In defense of the extension, Shinkafi emphasized the prevailing economic challenges in the country, stating, “Without an extension of the registration, many candidates will not be able to register and participate in the exercise, and that means there will not be a wider coverage and participation in this year’s UTME Examination in Nigeria.”

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While JAMB has not officially responded to the House’s directive, the board has, however, communicated its readiness to conduct a mock examination on March 7 for UTME candidates. The weekly news bulletin released on Monday urged candidates to print their notification slips, providing details about the examination center, venue, and time.

JAMB introduced the mock UTME in 2017 to test innovations and features planned for the main UTME. The board also aims to assess its readiness and provide candidates, especially those unfamiliar with computer-based testing, with a hands-on experience.

Despite the impending mock examination, the silence from JAMB regarding the House’s directive on the registration deadline remains a cause for concern. Candidates and their families eagerly await clarity on whether the extension will be granted, ensuring a fair opportunity for all aspiring tertiary education students in Nigeria.

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