THE Senate, yesterday, directed the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, JAMB, to begin to
extend the validity of its results to a period of three years.
the Senate ordered the board to immediately stop its policy of re-assigning candidates to schools they never applied to, saying such policy was contrary to the act establishing the board. To this end, results obtained from the board by candidates seeking admission into universities are
expected to last for three years.
The red chamber, which order came following a motion entitled:”JAMB’s New Admission Policy, “sponsored by Senator Joshua Lidani, APC, Gombe South, which was debated during plenary, also urged JAMB to consult widely with Parents Teachers Association, ASUU and all other stakeholders in the education sector with a view to coming out with a friendlier holistic, comprehensive and sustainable admissions policy. It also directed its Committee on Education to enquire into circumstances surrounding the JAMB policy, including all allegations of favouritism and generally review the power of JAMB vis-a-vis administration and submit findings within one week.
Earlier, in his motion, Senator Lidani frowned at the JAMB’s policy of posting candidates to schools, including private universities whose fees, he noted, were beyond the means of the candidates’ parents or guardians, saying in some cases, candidate were posted to universities located far away from their places of abode thus placing additional financial burden on their parents. Lidani expressed worry that although the Federal Ministry of Education had since suspended the implementation of this policy; JAMB was still going ahead with its implementation, thus creating more hardship for parents and uncertainty in the education sector.
He said he was concerned given that the policy runs contrary to the letters and spirit of Section 5(1)(C) iii of the JAMB Act, which according to him, requires that JAMB should take into account preferences of the candidates in their choices of schools and the subsequent confusion surrounding the directive that only candidates whose names were forwarded to the university by JAMB were eligible for post-UTME screening and others would have to go back to JAMB website to find out their new institutions.
Senator Lidani expressed concern that since the policy was announced, the board was faced with series of massive protests by parents and candidates of and some organizations like the Association of Tutorial School Operators of Nigeria as well as other numerous stakeholders. While noting that JAMB was a board created by an Act of the National Assembly in 1989 to administer a centralized admission for universities, polytechnics and colleges of education in Nigeria.
He further noted that by Section 5(1) (C) iii of the JAMB Act 2004, the function of the board, among other things, was the general control of the conduct of the matriculation examinations for admission into all universities, polytechnics and colleges of education and also include the placement of suitable qualified candidates in the tertiary institutions having taken into account, the preferences expressed or otherwise indicated by candidates for certain tertiary institutions and courses.
In a similar development, the Federal Government has scrapped the conduct of post Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examinations (UTME) for candidates seeking admission into higher institution.
The government explained that all tertiary institutions were at liberty to conduct screening for candidates seeking admission into any school.
Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu said this recently in Abuja after declaring open the 2016 Combined Policy Meeting on Admissions to Universities, Polytechnics and other higher institutions in Nigeria. Adamu, expressed confidence in the examination conducted by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), adding that there was no need for other examination to be conducted by universities after JAMB.
He said: “As far as I am concerned, the nation has confidence in what JAMB is doing. The universities should not be holding another examination and if the universities have any complain against JAMB let them bring it and then we address it. “If JAMB is qualified enough to conduct tests and they have conducted test then there will be no need to conduct another test for students to gain admission.” The Minister also asked the JAMB to stop extra charges on several categories of changes on admissions such as the change of course, change of school and others.
Meanwhile, the JAMB has pegged the cut – off mark for admission for 2016 at 180. The 180 benchmark applies to all universities and higher institutions in the country, including polytechnics, colleges of education, and others. JAMB’s Registrar and Chief Executive Officer, Prof. Dibu Ojerinde after a long debate with delegates from various institutions told journalists that no institution would go below the 180 cut-off set by the board. He said: “180 is given, no institution will go below 180 this year, And some universities can go above it, I know University of Ife will not go below 200 and University of Lagos will not go below 200 and also UI. All these ones stand but 180 as bench mark for others. “This year we have more than enough candidates, we have over 1.5 million candidates so we will get enough candidates to take in all the schools if they are serious. Re-distribution is already ongoing, because it is embedded in the registration procedure.”