The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has frowned at the directive given by the Federal Government that post-Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examinations (UTME) conducted by Nigerian universities as entry requirement for undergraduate degree programmes be scrapped.
This is just as the union held that the quality of tertiary education in the country could only get better if institutions are allowed to regulate their students’ admission process.
Speaking to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Lagos, ASUU President, Comrade Biodun Ogunyemi, who was not too pleased with the directive stated that it would encroach on the autonomy of the institutions.
“I think government should give these institutions the chance to regulate themselves,” he said.
“They should decide for themselves, the process they dim fit to admit their students. The Senate of universities for example, should decide on the process they want to use in selecting candidates.
“We do not think it’s right for government to decide the method of screening of the candidates, indeed, we want to attain some level of sanity and quality in the system.”
On why universities collect money during the conduct of the Post-UTME, he said:
“Some of the arguments raised in this entire episode is that universities or tertiary institutions were using the conduct of such examination to make money,” he said.
“But the truth is, these institutions are poorly funded. If universities for example are properly funded, will the vice-chancellors be looking for other means of making money?
“In the last seven months, university workers have been receiving incomplete salaries, that is, the disbursement of funds for payment of salaries has always been inadequate.
“When situations like this arise, the managements will not be left with any choice than to look inwards and seek means of meeting such needs. “And one of such strategies is by conducting such examination.”
Ogunyemi noted that the state universities were worst hit for many of them had yet to receive subvention in the last one year.
“Actually we in ASUU frown at extortion of any type from students or candidates but the government too should be alive to its responsibilities by providing the enabling environment that will aid teaching, learning and research,’’ he said