The unexpected twists and turns exhibited by the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), on the ‘point grading system’ and the conduct of the 2016 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME), in recent weeks, have heralded the era of uncertainty and deep agitation among parents, guardians and angst-ridden students in Nigeria.
The Educational sector has been gorged in the labyrinth of a cacophonous decision making with respect to the stands of candidates who sat for the 2016 UMTE – about the possibility of them securing a seamless admission to study their courses of choice in any Nigerian university.
The introduction of a policy on Post-UTME – internal examination being conducted by individual universities for the purpose of testing the academic and intellectual competence of applicants – that births inharmonious and contradictory tendencies is becoming an issue of grave concern to Nigerians as a whole.
What can best describe a situation where the Federal Government through its Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, announces a policy and then in the twinkling of an eye regurgitates or perhaps indirectly dissociates himself from the initial guiding principle?
The Honourable Minister of Education had early last month declared the cancellation of Post UTME, stating that ‘the nation has confidence in what JAMB is doing.’
Adamu, in a statement, stressed that ‘JAMB is the only statutory body that has the constitutional backing to conduct admission exams into public tertiary institutions,’ even as he described the Post-UTME exercise as an illegal, unconstitutional and well-orchestrated platform for schools to defraud candidates.
His words: “For the avoidance of doubt, any educational institution after secondary education is regarded as a tertiary institution.”
“Therefore, all tertiary institutions, including Polytechnics, Colleges of Education, universities or by whatever name it is called after secondary education must be subjected to admission through the JAMB.
“Moreover, there has been no empirical evidence to show that since the inception of post-UTME, universities have been having better students. Rather, students are still being put on probation, withdrawn or outright expulsion annually on the account of low performance even when they gained admission through post-UTME.
“At the end of probationary admission by JAMB, the candidates can be cleared (screened) for final admission. For any institution with a shortfall in admission, such institution can revert to JAMB for supplementary admission. Clearing in this case (screening) entails only the verification of certificates of the candidates, JAMB scores, and any other physical examination to ensure that such candidates are not cultists. After this, the candidates are qualified for matriculation. Such screening should be at no cost to the parents or students and should be done upon resumption in order to avoid unnecessary travels in search of admission.”
Following the apparent consternation, confusion and public outcry that greeted the announcement during a time when some universities where getting set to commence the Post-UTME, the minister still had to iterate the stance of the government on the matter, threatening sanctions to any institution that violates the directive.
The announcement breathed a sigh of relief to students, some of whom were denied admission into the university or other tertiary institutions of their choice due to the illegalities allegedly practiced by school officials during the post-UTME.
However, barely a week after the announcement, the federal government betrayed its decision to rescind the Post-UTME as it announced the reintroduction of a ‘quasi’ Post-UTME which would have candidates pay the sum of N2, 500 for the exercise.
The government’s decision to compromise may not be unconnected to the outcome of a meeting that was converged on in Abuja by the Association of Vice-Chancellors of Nigerian Universities in response to deliberate on better ways of resolving the problem.
A statement from the AVCNU Secretary-General, Prof. Michael Faborode, revealed that the agreement was reached after prolonged deliberations with the officials of Ministry of Education led by the Permanent Secretary, Dr. Folashade Yemi-Esan.
The Minister, through the statement released by his Director of Publicity, Media, and Public Relations, Mr. Ben-Gwong, later clarified that the N2, 500 would only be paid by candidates who successfully scaled through the university screening exercise.
A decision that obviously opposes the previous practice in which all candidates are forced to part with some money before they could sit for the post-UTME exam.
Not satisfied with that obvious display of shenanigan, an online medium claimed that JAMB had introduced the ‘Point Grading System’ on higher institutions as the new admission guidelines for 2016 admission processes.
The report which was later denied by the Board suggests that prospective candidates for admission would be chosen based on the points they scored in accordance with the laid-down procedures.
In a rebuttal released few days later, JAMB stated that the point system copied from its website was a mere illustration of criteria for admission into tertiary institutions in the country.
The Board’s Head of Information, Dr. Fabian Benjamin, said in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
“The Board wishes to state clearly that the point grading system was an initial illustration by the Registrar of JAMB, Prof. Dibu Ojerinde, of how few institutions were using the system to select candidates for admission while other institutions were subjecting candidates to written test.”
It added that the 2016 admissions would be conducted purely on the three existing admission pillars of merit, catchment area and educationally less developed states through the following process.
According to the statement, firstly, a list of candidates who qualified for screening into individual institutions based on the three stipulated criteria will be presented.
It added that such screening did not demand for another test in any form, written, oral or electronic.
After that, it is the presentation of the Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE) results/Advanced Level (AL) results for verification and clearing purposes. WAEC, NECO and NBTE results or its equivalent are acceptable as matriculation requirements. Each candidate is expected to have a minimum of five credits at SSCE including English, Mathematics and any other three relevant subjects to his or her discipline.
With this development, quite a number of institutions through radio and newspapers adverts, have commenced the process that would herald the for post-UTME screening exercise in the country.
Important Announcement From JAMB
- JAMB has announced that the closing date for the 2016 Direct Entry is (Friday) July 29th, 2016. Candidates are urged to take this advantage and complete their registration.
- Also, be reminded that the Federal Government has not scrapped the Computer Based Test (CBT) for JAMB, what was scrapped is the CBT being used by Institutions to screen post UTME candidates.
- The UTME 2016 Cut off mark for Universities, Polytechnic, Colleges of Education and Innovative Enterprise Institute is 180. What this mean is that irrespective of whether you chose University, Polytechnic, College of Education or IEI (Innovative Enterprise Institute), the cutoff mark is 180
- The Change of Course/Institution is now closed.
- To locate the nearest Accredited JAMB centre closest to you, please visit this http://www.jamb.org.ng/Unifiedtme2/RegistrationCentres.aspx
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