The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) says Master Ekene Franklin, the 15 year-old boy from Imo state, who emerged as the best candidate with 347 score in the 2019 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) cannot gain admission into University of Lagos or any Nigerian university because he is underage.
Registrar of JAMB, Professor Ishaq Oloyode, who made the startling disclosure while speaking on the 2019 UTME results released last Saturday, explained that the lad would not complete his admission into UniLag, which he chose as his first choice because of age.
According to the JAMB boss, Franklin was disqualified on the basis of the National Universities Commission (NUC) minimum age rule for admission into the university which public universities don’t compromise.
While the Franklin, who emerged as the best in the list of over 1.8m candidates that wrote the exam, may not gain admission, the second and third best candidates would seal their admissions. The second best candidate with 346 marks is a 16 year-old Emmanuel Chidiebube from Abia state; while 17 year-old Oluwo Isaac Olamilekan Oloyode from Osun state came third with 345 marks.
Oloyede also admitted that the 2019 UTME was fraught with widespread irregularities and manipulation from especially the CBT exam centres and owners.
“In Nigeria too, examination malpractice is exacerbated by the insatiable greed and desperate antics of parents who are hell-bent on inducting their innocent and not-so-innocent children into the world of sharp practices and corruption.
“Yet, the given circumstances made it difficult for us in 2017 to adopt the international best practice of pre-release clinical scrutiny of the results of the examination of this nature, especially when one is aware of how endemic the rot had been since the period of the Paper and Pencil Test till the recently introduced CBT.”
“The foundation of examination malpractice is laid at the point of registration with the active connivance of some CBT centre owners, who allowed themselves to be infiltrated by those who parade themselves as owners of tutorial classes.
“Unfortunately, some elite institutions that charge exorbitant fees, which they had made the parents part with in the name of secondary education, became active in the procurement of ‘best results’ for their students at all costs.
“These characters have permeated the system such that it is herculean to confront and dislodge them. The extent of this infraction is appreciated through the huge amount of money JAMB makes from the correction of names, dates of birth by the perpetrators.”
He added that JAMB had delisted about 116 CBT centres nationwide from conducting the UTME tests in future.