Recently, the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board, JAMB, made some clarifications on the new admission policy. Its Registrar, Professor Dibu Ojerinde, directed universities in the country to verify the SSCE results of candidates seeking admission only and not to weigh down them with additional examinations. Of course, it was a veiled remark about the vexed matter of post UME which not a few parents and prospective students had repeatedly complaint bitterly against.
Aside the risk of travelling to universities of their for the post-UME exercise, many prospective students had died in the process. There was, of course, the issue of the cost implication. Each varsity charged the prospective students various fees and yet they were not guarantee admission.
Incessant complaints compelled the federal government to step in and abolished as it were the unnecessary charges imposed on prospective students and their parents and it further outright stopped the exercise. Trust universities, which had seen the exercise as an avenue to rip off the prospective students, the kicked and struggle openly giving different and contrary interpretations until the government was forced to further clarify on the policy.
It was therefore instructive that the JAMB registrar urged prospective candidates seeking admission into Nigerian universities to visit www.jamb.gov.ng for the new admission guidelines. The aim, of course, is to ensure that everyone holds a uniform understanding.
However, the policy has been faulted by former former Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission, NUC, Professor Peter Okebukola, who has criticised the new method of admitting students into tertiary institutions, saying it amounted to admitting candidates blindly, prospective candidates have sharply disagree.
Okebukola, who spoke on the sidelines of the 2016 Speech Day and Prize Giving ceremony of Queen’s College, Yaba, Lagos, on Monday, asserted that the current criteria or guidelines put in place for admission of candidates into the country’s tertiary institutions would only allow unqualified candidate to be admitted.
The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) had on July 10, clarified that the 2016 admissions would be conducted purely on the three existing admission pillars of merit, catchment area and educationally less developed states.
It added that candidates were to present their Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE)/Advanced Level (AL) results for verification and clearing purposes.
Okebukola said: “Actually, I must say that we do not know where we are heading to yet. The reason is that both the JAMB and the universities under the umbrella of Association of Vice-Chancellors of Nigeria Universities (AVCNU) are not even sure of the criteria.
“We have yet to have any clear view of where we are going yet, but I suspect that in another one week or two, we are likely to know where we are going. As of now, the environment is still very cloudy on the post UTME thing,’’ he said adding that the post UTME that came, “During my tenure as Executive Secretary, it started in the form of screening.
“It was aimed at getting quality candidates into our tertiary institutions, especially the universities. It all happened that in 2002, some of the vice-chancellors after the UTME came to me on a Sunday after the examination the previous day.
“They reported that there was a big issue in a particular university which I will not like to mention but they complained that almost half of the students of the university sat for the UTME. And when I asked why, they said some persons who are candidates of UTME used these students to write the examination for them as mercenaries.
“It then dawned on us that some of these people that normally brandish high scores are not really the true owners of such scores,” he said stressing that it became apparent that there was a need insert into the question of admission another layer of filtering.
The professor said the initial screening was to ensure that candidates’ appearances did not portray them as touts or cultists in spite from their academic proficiency and that it was to be essay and oral screening in addition to the physical appearance.
Further recalling reasons for the introduction of the post UTME, Okebukola said, complaints over low quality of graduates and indeed the prospective admission candidates was followed up by the then Minister of Education, Prof. Chinwe Obaji, who decided to go to the National Assembly to clarify issues including post UTME as means of arresting low level quality admission into tertiary institutions.
According to him, it was agreed that there should not be any form of multiple-choice examinations again on the CBT platform and added that in its place would be oral questions and some essay writing in order to assess the candidates’ writing skills.
Okebukola said the agreement was reached with the National Assembly and the message conveyed to the universities and JAMB.
Laudable objective this! But university managements thought better of it and decided to exploit it for monetary gains.
However, prospective candidates for this year’s JAMB exams, have expressed gratitude to the federal government stating that shylocks in varsities have been taught harsh lessons on how not to be greedy.
“Yes, we agree that universities must raise funds, but should it have been at the expense of desperate students who were forced to write several examinations without being guaranteed admission? No, it was simply Shylocks at play and we are happy that this government for once listened to the cries of Nigerians,” Olawale Adeoye said.
Another candidate, Esther Oye, who has already visited JAMB portal opened last Monday, lauded the state for acting in favour of education rather than brute capitalism. “The management of universities were brutal in their quest to raise funds off hapless prospective students. It was cruel and unfeeling. They gave the impression that the government was not giving them their due allocation and most painfully too they was nothing to justify their exploitation of candidates.”
Musa Abbas equally echoed their sentiments stressing that the new policy is realistic and allows candidates fair opportunity to secure admissions without offering a pound of flesh.
“I think this is one policy that everyone even the university managements agree is fair and therefore laudable. It allows JAMB to function in line with its statute that established it and further gives candidates the latitude to comfortably read for their JAMB examinations without thinking of the many post-UTME exercises and the risk therein of travelling to many campuses for the exams.”
Here are few guidelines as released by JAMB for admission into tertiary institutions in Nigeria.
1. Presentation of the lists of candidates who qualify for screening into individual institution based on the stipulated guidelines by JAMB (find hereby enclosed).
2. Screening should not demand for another test in any form either written , oral or electronic.
3. Candidates are to present their SSCE results/Advanced Level (AL) results for verification and clearing purposes.
4. WAEC, NECO, NABTEB results or equivalents are acceptable as matriculation requirements.
5. Each candidate is expected to have a minimum of 5 credits at SSCE including English Language, mathematics and any other 3 relevant subjects to his or her discipline.
6. Any candidate who does not possess the requirements as listed in item (4) above is deemed to have failed the screening process.
7. The lists of candidates awaiting SSCE/AL results can be kept in view (K.I.V) pending the release of their results.
8. Consideration of the recommended lists as forwarded by JAMB should be completed one month from the receipt of such list.
9. Any institution that has a shortfall in the admitted candidates can make-up for candidates from other departments on the institution’s list.
10. The screening list has been uploaded on JAMB website for possible users. Visit www.jamb.org.ng.
11. Reason (s) for rejection of candidates on the screening list should be stated with proofs alongside, and
12. The federal government has directed that these guidelines are strictly adhered to without any alteration.
By these guidelines as stated above by JAMB, all university aspirants should bear in mind that ONLY JAMB can forward your name to your school for admission consideration. Nothing like PUTME this year.
Again, there will be shopping forms and those who are not admitted on merit may be admitted into other departments.