UTME candidates lament as network failure mars exam

The 2020 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination started nationwide on a poor note on Saturday, particularly in some centres in Lagos and Abuja due to power and network failures, investigations by Punch revealed.

Some candidates in a few Computer-Based Test centres in Lagos State, scheduled for 7am, were seen crying as they could not take the exam until 1pm.

They became more tearful, after they went in and reportedly wrote two or three papers, during which some of the computers went off.

The Virtual Private Network, which transmits the questions from the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, failed in a handful of those centres, leading to anxiety among candidates and parents.

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At the Darman Model College, Satellite Town area of Lagos, candidates said about 31 of them affected by the network failure were asked to write down their names and that the board would get back to them.

The candidates, some having written only two papers, expressed fears that they might suffer for what was not their making.

A candidate, Abdulaziz Shuaibu, said, “I was supposed to write my paper by 7am, but I started after 1pm. And when we started, the system shut down halfway. About 31 of us were affected. Kindly help us to intervene in this matter.”

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A parent, Mr Akinboyegbe Marcus, said he left Ikotun area of Lagos as early as 6am but that his son, scheduled to take the exam by 9am, had not taken it as of 2pm when he spoke with punch correspondent.

He said, “My son was supposed to sit the exam by 9am, but as I speak with you, he hadn’t started. Those scheduled for 7am had not written. There is anxiety as I speak with you. About 215 of them had not written as of 2pm that I am talking to you.

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“Parents are very worried because nobody is talking to us. Some of the candidates cry out of the CBT hall, saying they were not able to take all the papers before the computers went off. Some did two; some three and some took one.

“I don’t know how JAMB approved this centre. Inside the rain, we came here for the exam. It is very bad.”

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