Chris Steven, Abuja
The Registrar, Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) Professor Ishaq Oloyede has described the uniform cut off mark for admission into the nation’s tertiary institutions as unhealthy for competition among the institutions.
While calling on all stakeholders to rethink the issue of cut of marks, Professor Oloyede also called for a national debate on the propriety of cut off marks.
The JAMB Registrar in a statement issued in Abuja by the Head of JAMB Public Relations unit, Dr. Fabian Benjamin, said that institutions should be allowed to determine the kind of candidates they want.
“Let institutions admit what they want according to their needs”.He said
He argued that the uniformity of cut of marks did not make any sense when Colleges and Polytechnics admit for National Certificate of Education (NCE) and Diplomas while Universities admit for Degrees and are subjected to the same cut off marks.
This, according to him, has been starving these tier of institutions from admitting candidates who he noted if not engaged may likely become easy prey to social vices.
“This mean that if a University wants 250 as minimum cut off marks why not and if another wants less so be it. If a Polytechnics like Yaba wants 250 let them admit and if Gboko Polytechnic in Benue State wants less than 200 let it admit. Institutions should be known for their individual quality and not collective standard.
This will foster positive competition for the overall good of our tertiary institutions. Nigerians should look at this critically for the Board to take action that will be for the good of our education.” He said
Oloyede expressed worry over the class opportunities as it affects the distribution of admission resources arguing that the rich have multiple opportunities which include going abroad for studies while the poor only have the opportunity of struggling for the scarce spaces in the country.
He said the rich children write JAMB and are taken out of the country for studies abroad if they failed to make the required marks adding that they come back and are integrated while the poor can’t afford it and are forever denied the opportunity of education.
It would be recalled that the Federal Government introduced the uniform cut off marks for all tertiary institutions three years ago after the introduction of Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME).
The Board cancelled the option of choosing at least two university as a choice and the new system allows an applicant to can one University, one Polytechnic, one College of Education and one Computer Institutes unlike before during form registration.
The government had pegged the 2016 admission cut off marks at 180 early this year after a stakeholders’ meeting in Abuja.
Professor Oloyede said the management of JAMB under his leadership has resolved to ensure that the change agenda of Mr. President concerning education is actualized in no distance time.
This he said would be made possible through reforms currently going on in the Board adding that it would continue to make reforms that would carry the interest of every Nigerian child irrespective of whether poor, rural settlers etc.
He expressed concerns over the fact that most policies are geared towards accommodating the interest of the elite only and leaving the downtrodden to suffer unjustly.