The Registrar of JAMB, Prof. Dibu Ojerinde, has said that an estimated 1.5 million candidates will sit for the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examinations (UTME) in 2011.

Ojerinde gave the figure in Abuja when the House of Representative Committee on Education visited the JAMB office.

He told the visiting committee members, led by their Chairman, Rep.
Farouk Lawan, that the board was fully prepared for the upsurge in the number of candidates.

The registrar said that an estimated 1.34 million candidates sat for the examinations in 2010, hence the board’s projection of 1.5 million candidates for 2011 examinations.

He said that the way the country population was moving, “within the next four or five years, the upsurge in the enrolment for the board’s examinations would be too high.

Ojerinde said that there was the need for a proactive policy to handle the increase in the number of candidates or the upsurge would be too much for the board to cope with.

He attributed the upsurge to so many factors, which include increase in the enrolment in secondary education and high rate of passes at the secondary school levels.

To cope with the upsurge, the registrar said the board had increased its centres from 2,800 in 2009 to 3,000 in 2010 in order to accommodate more candidates for the examinations.

Ojerinde said that as part of the new policy of the board, each centre had a maximum of 540 candidates with 21 invigilators, besides the security personnel.

He said a lot of security measures had been introduced to safeguard the sanctity of the examinations, adding that the board now had varied examination questions for candidates with a customised metal detector.

The registrar appealed to the members of the National Assembly to assist it with adequate funding in order to meet some of the challenges being faced by the board.

Responding, Lawan commended the initiatives of the board in coping with various challenges confronting it, and gave the assurance that the committee would look into its budget size in 2011 appropriation.

Lawan also applauded the early release of UME results by the board and appealed to the board to find a way of reducing non-release of candidate results thus denying them getting admissions.