JAMB Clears Air On Hijab Wearing UTME Candidates


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By Alice Etuka, Abuja

The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has said that it has no policy barring candidates from sporting the religious paraphernalia peculiar to their religious persuasions even when gaining entry into the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) hall.

JAMB Spokesperson, Fabian Benjamin announced this in a statement issued on Sunday, April 21, 2024.

TheFact Daily gathered that the disclaimer was coming on the heels of backlash against the Board by media outlets after a candidate wearing hijab was asked to remove it during the accreditation process before being allowed into the examination hall in Lagos.

According to the statement, “the Board deeply regretted the incident and, on investigation discovered, that this particular incident or others in the past, is not linked to any of its examination guidelines but rather a product of the misplaced priority of some of the Board’s accredited partners or officials who claimed ignorance of the Board’s guidelines on accreditation, which ensures that all candidates are screened allowing only female officials to screen female candidates before allowing them to gain entrance into the hall.

“This situation was instantly addressed by a senior official of the Board at the centre and the candidate in question allowed in after the usual checks with her hijab”.

JAMB further disclosed that the officials involved had been appropriately sanctioned to serve as a deterrent to others, who might wish to toe the same line going forward.

The statement read in part: “Its worthy of note that the Board, as a national institution, has no policy barring candidates from sporting the religious paraphernalia peculiar to their religious persuasions as these are the facts of everyday life in Nigeria, which everyone should have been familiar with by now.

“Furthermore, the Board assures the general public that this issue would be properly investigated, as it had done in past incidents, to prevent a recurrence and nothing would be swept under the carpet.

“The Board is committed to the discharge of its statutory role of ensuring that suitably-qualified candidates are selected for admission into the nation’s tertiary institutions and would not allow anything or anyone to detract it from the pursuit of this noble goal.

“Meanwhile, the conduct 2024 UTME, which commenced on Friday, 19th April, 2024, had been seamless as over 1.2million candidates would have successfully taken the examination by Monday, April 22, 2024”, it said.


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