Registration for the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) in some centres in Kwara South Senatorial District on Tuesday experienced low turnout of prospective candidates.
A correspondent of the Nigeria News Agency who monitored the exercise in centres in Omu-Aran, Aran-Orin, Offa and Erin-Ile reports that the centres recorded low patronage, compared to what obtained in 2019.
The Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) began UTME registration on Jan. 13 and to close on Feb. 17.
Few prospective candidates were seen queueing for registration in many of the centres visited.
This is despite the dropping of the National Identity Number (NIN) for the registration by JAMB.
Some candidates and centre coordinators, in separate interviews, attributed the development to dearth of funds and nonchalant attitude of some candidates toward the exercise.
Adebisi Oreoluwa, a UTME candidate, told NAN that she knew of few candidates who are desperate to register but could not finance it.
“Two of such candidates, who are my friends told me that they are still expecting their parents, who are civil servants, to fund their registration.
“My prayers is that they get the required amount to register before the closing date,’’ Oreoluwa said.
Another prospective candidate, Ajayi Abioye, said that some parents were still struggling to maintain financial stability after the Yuletide celebrations.
“Aside such spending, some parents still have to pay for the educational needs of their children,’’ he said.
Mr Kazeem Ojiwusi, the CBT centre coordinator for Omu-Aran and Aran-Orin, said some candidates “are fond of waiting for the last-minute rush to come out to register’’.
According to him, the availability of online registration can also be a genuine factor for the low turnout at CBT centres.
“Presently, the network is working perfectly and smoothly without hitch.
“Although, the turn-out is very low compared to the last registration.
“But we are used to last-minute rush by candidates who are fond of taking their time before coming out to register.
“So, we are very optimistic that more candidates will still come out to register,’’ Ojiwusi said.
Contributing, Chief Festus Awoniyi, a community leader and retired administrator said the unimpressive state of the nation’s economy was negatively affecting the education system.
“It’s not limited to UTME registration but every sphere of the education is now capital intensive and almost beyond the reach of average Nigerians.
“But we are optimistic that with the present administration’s ongoing reform in the sector, there is going to be a light at the end of the tunnel,’’ Awoniyi said.