The Federal Government has directed Nigerian universities and other tertiary institutions in the country to henceforth stop the conduct of post Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (Post-UTME) as pre-requisite for admissions.
Also, 180 has been set as cut-off marks across board for admissions into universities, colleges of education, polytechnics and other tertiary institutions in the country.
Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, announced this at the 2016 Combined Policy meeting for admissions to tertiary institutions in Nigeria organised by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) on Thursday in Abuja.
He threatened to sanction institutions that defy the Federal Government’s directives on admission processes.
He said it was wrong and shameful for universities to organise post-UTME test and extorting money from candidates well over N5,000 each, after sitting for UTME conducted by JAMB.
Adamu, who got vote of confidence passed on JAMB by stakeholders at the event wondered why institutions said they were satisfied with what JAMB was doing and still go ahead to conduct another examination after UTME.
He put it to them, “do you have confidence in what JAMB is doing ?” and there was loud yes. He added that “if we have confidence then why are the universities and other institutions conducting their own examinations.
“It would be a shameful if tertiary institutions are doing this to raise money for their institutions. It should not be at the expense of the students. What about students who sat for examinations in foreign countries, we must consider their distance'” he said.
He said: “Our schools should not be conducting another entrance examination. If they have any complaint against JAMB they should come to the Ministry and we will look it. If JAMB is qualified to conduct test and they are conducting the test, then there should be no need for students to sit for another examination to get admission”.
He, however, did not hid his aversion to the use of Computer-Based Test (CBT) mode in the conduct of UTME by JAMB, when he said openly that he hated it but there was nothing to do.
The decision to peg cut-off marks for admissions to all tertiary institutions appeared to generate some controversies when the Minister of Education left venue of the meeting but the Registrar and Chief Executive of JAMB, Professor ‘Dibu Ojerinde, said there was nothing he could do since it was the position of the government to harmonise the minimum benchmark for admissions into tertiary institutions in the country.
Stakeholders at the meeting included Vice Chancellors of Universities, Provosts of Colleges of Education and Rectors of Polytechnics and other chief executive officers of agencies under Federal Ministry of Education.
Ojerinde, however, explained that universities or other institution would be free to screen their candidates at no cost after JAMB would have given them admissions.
The harmonisation of the cut-off marks points is seen as move by the Federal Government to gradually remove the entrenched dichotomy between universities’ degree and Higher National Diploma (HND) certificate.
The Minister also stopped JAMB from issuance of admission letters to students, saying admission letters should issued to students by respective institutions.
He told JAMB to stop extra charges of candidates in terms purchases of scratch cards for checking of results and other changes they need to make in the admission processes.
He advised JAMB to give candidates permanent number for accessing their online admission processes without additional charges.
The Minister advised all universities, polytechnics and colleges of education to conclude the 2016/2017 admission exercise before the 31st of November this year, also laying emphasis on 60 per cent to 40 per cent admission ratio in favour of the sciences and 70 per cent to 30 per cent admission ratio in favour of technical courses.
He told the institutions to adhere strictly to the 2016 admission policy guidelines in order not to deprive eligible and qualified students seeking for admission to further their education.
He also warned the institutions not to exceed their admission quotas, saying there would sanction while urging them to stop writing to JAMB to increase their quotas.
Adamu said: “There is no socio-economic development that can take place without the development of education. Creating accesss in our education is imperative.
“Education must be qualitative and it must be able to impact lives. I urge you all to be open and considerate in your decisions especially in deciding the cut-off points. I want to urged you not to go below the 180 of last year. I want you to consider the nation,” he said.
Akin is the author of the book "THE INTERNET: a town square for the global village.
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