The Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has announced that it would soon commence the sale of the application form for the 2017 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME).
The announcement was made on Tuesday by its Registrar, Prof. Ishaq Oloyede, while fielding questions from journalists at the Information and Communication Technology Retreat in Abeokuta, Ogun.
Mr. Oloyede also disclosed that about 1.7 million candidates are expected to sit for the 2017 Computer Based Test (CBT) across the country, adding that they were also increasing the capacity of the CBT centres to maximise their effectiveness to examine more candidates within a given date.
He said: “What we are doing appears to be suitable to majority of our stakeholders. It is a surprise to us that we are apprehensive of what we wanted to do that maybe we are going to create problem. We are more confident to go along with the sale of the form for 2017 UTME examination.
“I believed that Nigeria is ripe for this. Nigeria is more advanced than some of these countries. At least, we have three or four countries that are observing our examination and they want to go the way of the conduct of the examination.
“We are expecting 1.7 million candidates and we want to make sure we satisfy these candidates within a week or there about. That is why we are increasing the capacity of the Computer Based Test centres to be able to examine more candidates within a given date.
“If we are talking about 1.5 million candidates, it means that in a given day about 60,000 or 70,000 candidates will take the examination.
“We have invited stakeholders to critique the process because we don’t want to go in the wrong direction. We are creating some ICT facilities and we want our stakeholders, prospective candidates, respected scholars, institutions, civil societies to come together and critique what we are doing, so that we can be sure, before we go too far in a wrong direction.
“This is with a view of harvesting good ideas that could improve what we are doing. We thought we are coming here to get dismantled, all we have put together, but what we are having are cheers that we can do it this way, or amend it that way.
“I must be frank with you, I cannot promise hitch free examination because we are testing certain things. We are changing certain things. We want to question the status quo and of course, we expect a fight back by interest that will be trampled upon.
“We are going to be as sincere as possible in the direction we are going. We are going to be as flexible as humanly possible. We are not promising hitch free examination.
“We envisaged that there will be hitches here and there, but they will not be insurmountable. Rather than promising the nation hitch free examination, we will be promising a direction we will all be pleased with.
“Initially there might be hiccups and of course one would not have been appointed if it is routine. I believe that I have been given a very difficult job and that is why I’m promising that it will be all smooth.”
Mr. Oloyede also said that JAMB would soon begin the sale of forms for the 2017 UTME.
NAN reports that 1,561,443 candidates sat for the UTME in 2016.