The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) announced the postponement of the 2021 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) from June 19 to July 3, citing that the registration process has also been extended, with the exercise now to end on May 29.
“Candidates for Direct Entry are reminded to, while procuring their ePIN, specify their category of admission. However, where a DE candidate mistakenly purchases an ePIN for UTME, the selling point is hereby directed to rectify the error by swapping the ePIN to DE at no further cost to the candidate.
Digital Service Providers are encouraged to expand their facilities, including the provision of redundancy links. NIMC pledged to give priority attention to UTME/DE prospective candidates,” JAMB disclosed.
2021 UTME registration process
Nairametrics reported in April that the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) announced the creation of a USSD code to further ease the registration process for the 2021 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME).
The USSD system, which will complement the SMS method currently being used, would be available to candidates who are yet to send their National Identity Number (NIN) to the requested number.
“We shall be deploying another method to get these profile codes and that is *55019*1*NIN number of candidate and #. This will complement the current SMS.”
“Most of these candidates are not going through the process in the appropriate manner. There is just nothing stressful about the generation of the profile code if the steps are followed correctly. The right thing to do is to ensure that the word NIN is first typed, then space, then the NIN number of candidate and then forward to 55919.” the exam body said.
However, in the week since the UTME exam date was shifted, several candidates have complained to Nairametrics about their inability to generate the required profile code despite being debited at each attempt. For instance, Sambo Amina disclosed that there are still issues related to the new USSD system. She said: “I’ve been trying mine but it keeps on telling me ‘record not found and invalid NIN’ I don’t know what else to do. Please, I need help.”
“Please, does that mean one can’t purchase e-pin through 55019 anymore because I tried again but I haven’t received a response,” another candidate, Precious complained.
“I have been trying the code since the last 3weeks but I have not received my profile code still,” Francis Helen said.
“This profile code is not true. You deceived parents and candidates. Why? I sent several times without success and I spent over N1000 for nothing so please, consider,” Ado Tanko lamented.
These are only a few of the many comments Nairametrics received from exasperated UTME candidates.
Calls on JAMB for an extension
Before the official announcement of the extension, students with challenges called on JAMB to postpone the examination and extend the registration deadline. The JAMB Registrar also hinted at a possible postponement following difficulties experienced by some students when trying to register but added that the mock examination would still go ahead on May 20 as stipulated earlier.
“The date has to be extended because some students’ NIN is yet to come out for a month now, the nimc centre just issued a tracking ID and anytime u try to get your NIN, they will say it is yet to come out. This is the problem most candidates are facing,” Paul Ahmed said.
“It is better and advisable to extend the date of UTME 2021 Registration because many candidates are yet to get their NIN and JAMB profile code,” Omonubi Felix warned last week.
Before the USSD system was implemented, the registration process required candidates to have a valid phone number and email address. The National Identity Number (NIN) was also made mandatory to create a profile on the JAMB website, search for JAMB iBass to be sure of the candidates’ eligibility and generate a 2021 JAMB e-pin registration for a computer-based test (CBT).
This system, however, has posed multiple challenges for candidates starting from the NIN registration process. The “fire-brigade“ approach adopted by the government to get everyone registered has created all sorts of difficulties particularly for these students who need the number as part of the requirements for this year’s exam.
Generating a profile code is also proving to be yet another hurdle for some of the exam candidates and the situation is worsened by instances where candidates are debited for failed transactions.
Although the exam body has acknowledged that candidates are facing these challenges and consequently extended the registration window, it would need to do more to make the process easier for candidates as these challenges could affect their overall performance in the exam.
Policies that give priority to students at NIN registration centres and the provision of alternative avenues to generate the all-important profile code are some of the things the exam body can immediately do to ease the process for candidates going forward. Having said that, it is worthy of note that the exam body has instructed that “students yet to get a response from 55019 are requested to send their Tracking ID or NIN to [email protected].”