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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Candidate accosted by JAMB for wearing hijab completes exam

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The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) said the candidate who faced discrimination over the use of hijab at a Lagos centre where she sat the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) was allowed the entire two hours to complete her exam.

A statement by JAMB spokesperson, Fabian Benjamin, said the clarification became necessary as information on social media suggests she lost part of the time she was supposed to sit the examination.

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Discrimination

The candidate, Ayisat Tiamiyu, faced discrimination at UTME examination centre – Bafuto Institute, Lagos, when she was asked to remove her Hijab as part of the accreditation processes.

JAMB later said in a statement that such is not part of its policies and assured that the officials involved had been reprimanded.

The body added that the situation was instantly addressed by a senior official of the board at the centre and that the candidate was allowed in after the usual checks with her hijab.

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Clarifications

However, reacting to reports in some quarters that Ms Tiamiyu was not allowed into the examination venue until after 30 minutes, JAMB said “such insinuations are misleading.”

Mr Benjamin said there have been calls in some quarters for the candidate to be compensated for the time lost.

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He said such a narrative is misleading and is aimed at “further inflaming passion and exacerbating an already-settled issue.”

According to him, the mild drama associated with her entrance into the examination venue has no effect on her time or anything related to her examination schedule.

He said it happened within the time allotted for the biometric verification of candidates earmarked for a particular session and not the time allotted for the examination.

JAMB said: “It is worthy of note that the incident had been thoroughly investigated by the Board and we could, therefore, state categorically that the candidate’s time was not affected in any way.”

“The call for compensation is, therefore, misplaced not only because it has no place in our operation but because the candidate was not deprived of anything as the ‘fracas’ lasted not more than five minutes and happened even before the official commencement time for screening not to talk of the examination proper. It was on record that she was one of the earliest to present herself for screening.”

He said the board took proactive measures to immediately caution the overzealous officials at the centre on the right way to go.

The examination body said the fact of the matter was corroborated by the supervisor at the centre, who it noted is a lecturer of Islamics, and who has written extensively on the issue of hijab

JAMB quoted the supervisor to have said, “At 6:20 a.m., when we were about to commence the biometric verification, I saw some female candidates removing their hijab.”

READ ALSO: UTME 2024: Nigerians lambast JAMB over 7 a.m. exam schedule

“On enquiry, I was told that a centre official had asked them to remove their hijab. I immediately addressed the affected candidates and asked them to get back their hijab and proceed for their screening after educating the official, who gave the misleading instruction. She was, thereafter, screened accordingly and allowed in with her hijab after which she sat the examination.”

JAMB urged stakeholders, “to be circumspect with their requests, because the Board, as a national institution, does not pander to the whims and caprices of any group, creed or individual and will, therefore, continue to be fair and just in its dealings in line with its statutory duties.”

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