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JAMB set to scrap general cut-offs for UTME

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The uniform cut-off points for admitting candidates that took the Universities Tertiary Matriculation Examination may be canceled, says the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB).

Candidates writing the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME).

The issue of cut-off marks as currently being used for admission, it said, should be subjected to national debate by stakeholders. The spokesperson of JAMB, Dr Fabian Benjamin, gave the indication in a statement he issued on behalf of its Registrar/Chief Executive, Prof Is-haq Oloyede, on Sunday evening in Abuja.

He said a situation where universities, polytechnics and colleges of education were subjected to the same cut-off marks was no longer tenable because it prevented the institutions from admitting candidates of their choice.

Tertiary institutions, he sated, should be allowed to determine the kind of candidates they want to admit. He added that there was an urgent need to reconsider the current cut-off point of 180 for admission in order to strengthen access to education, particularly for the less-privileged. Benjamin said:

“The uniformity of cut-off marks doesn’t make any sense when colleges (of education) and polytechnics admit for national certificate of education and diplomas, while universities admit for degrees.

Yet, we subject them to the same cut-off marks, thereby starving these tiers of institutions from admitting candidates who, if not engaged, may likely become easy prey to social vices.

“This means that if a University wants 250 as minimum cut-off marks, why not? And if another wants less so be it. If a Polytechnic like YABATECH (Yaba College of Technology) wants 250 as cut-off marks, let them admit and if Gboko Polytechnic in Benue State where I come from wants less than 200, let them admit.

“Institutions should be known for their individual quality and not collective standards. This will foster positive competition for the overall good of our tertiary institutions.

It is critical for all notable stakeholders to rethink the issue of cut-off marks.

“I am calling for a national debate on the propriety of cut off marks; institutions should be allowed to determine the kind of candidates they want.” JAMB also expressed worry over the class opportunities as it affects the distribution of admission resources.

The organisation said, “The rich have multiple opportunities which include going abroad for studies while the poor only have the opportunity of struggling for the scarce spaces here.

“They come back and they are integrated while the poor can’t afford it and are forever denied the opportunity of education. Let institutions admit what they want according to their needs.”

JAMB urged Nigerians to look at the decision critically for it to take action that would be for the good of the education sector, The Punch reports. In the same vein, Professor Ishaq Oloyede, the registrar of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), has revealed that they have scrapped the use of scratch cards for any transactions and services.

The reason given for the scrapping was that it was archaic and subject to fraud. On another note, the registrar, also demanded that the federal government should revert to the former system where serving vice chancellors of universities were made chairmen of the governing board of JAMB.

Dr Fabian Benjamin the spokesperson for JAMB, said, the decision to scrap the use of scratch cards was announced by the registrar in Abuja in a paper he delivered during a meeting of the association of vice chancellors of Nigerian universities.

In lieu of the scratch cards, the platform of pin vending will be used, in order to check all forms of fraudulent practices which was prevalent with the use of scratch cards.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Senate on Thursday, October 13, extended the validity period of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) to three years against the present one year.

The extension was sequel to the amendment of the Act establishing the JAMB and it scaled through third reading today.

To this end, results obtained from the board by candidates seeking admission into universities are expected to last for three years.

The Senate adopted the recommendation that the UTME examination should have a validity period of three years to reduce the financial burden on parents.



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