By Kofoworola Belo-Osagie, Frank Ikpefan, Abuja and Justina Asishana, Minna and Gbemisola Adesola
The National Examinations Council (NECO) an the Joint Admissions and Registration Board (JAMB) have said they will not extend the registration deadline for the 2021 Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE) and the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) candidates.
Both examination bodies announced this yesterday: NECO issued a statement in Minna, Niger State, by its Head Information and Public Relations Division, Azeez Sani, and JAMB spoke in Lagos through its Registrar, Prof. Ishaq Oloyede.
NECO said its registration, which started on March 31, will close on Friday, June 25, 2021, and will not be extended.
It added that the examination will start on Monday, July 5, 2021.
The statement said: “This is to enable efficient and effective planning for the examination logistics required for the smooth conduct of the 2021 SSCE internal.
“State ministries of Education, Commandants, Principals, Proprietors and other relevant stakeholders are enjoined to take note of the closing date and ensure timely completion of their candidates’ registration.
“The Council assures all stakeholders of its resolve to have a seamless conduct of the 2021 SSCE.”
JAMB had set May 29 as the registration deadline for the UTME, but gave a two-week extension on May 31, which will lapse on June 15.
The board ruled out a further extension for the registration except for those it said encountered the problem of ‘I got the something late’.
Oloyede blamed parents and tutorial centres for some of the challenges candidates faced during the registration, which he had described many times as seamless.
Registration for this year’s examination has been particularly difficult because the board made National Identification Number (NIN) a pre-requisite for registration.
Oloyede said candidates experienced difficulties because they did not follow the laid-down procedure.
The JAMB boss said his interaction with candidates revealed that the reasons for the late registration ranged from inability to get the NIN on time and inadequate funds to their inability to generate profile code.
He interviewed many candidates at the Ikoyi office to hear first-hand the reasons behind their late registration.
Oloyede said majority of the candidates sent the wrong details to get their code, or sent their NIN to the wrong short code.
The JAMB boss complained about the overbearing influence of parents and how tutorial centres misled candidates with wrong information and registered underage candidates.
Candidates are meant to send their NIN as text message to 55019 to get their profile code for registration.
JAMB also launched a USSD (*55019*1*NIN#) on April 30 that candidates could use as an alternative.
“I have not found any challenge beyond the problems of parents. If you go out there, you will find a large number of parents who have no business here. They are also too intruding, misleading their children. The mothers took over their lives, sending wrong things to wrong numbers.
“Instead of 55019, they send to 55016; instead of sending the boy’s NIN, they send the sister’s NIN; instead of allowing the child to register, they are register with their own postpaid phone that the system will not allow. Some of them are even using bonuses of their phones, which the system will not accept they are just compounding problems for these children,” Oloyede said.
The JAMB boss urged the state ministries of Education to regulate tutorial centers because majority of them were being used for examination malpractice.
Contrary to claims that over 600,000 candidates were unable to complete their registration, Oloyede said about 1.4 million candidates registered and only 17,758 candidates had issues.
He said Lagos had 3,200 candidates with issues, while 1,300 were found in Kwara; 1,300 in Abuja, 1,000 in Oyo, 1,000 in Kano, among others.
Oloyede emphasised that no candidate would be registered without NIN but that the board would see what it could do about the candidates with genuine issues without stopping the registration process.