Monday, 27 July 2015

UTME Dilemma: JAMB defends UNILAG

The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board
has defended the 250 cut-off mark set by the
University of Lagos for students wishing to gain
admission to the university.
According to JAMB, the decision of UNILAG was
aimed at ensuring that Nigerian universities admit
only the best candidates —
in line with
international best practices.
JAMB said it was “aware that some universities
have their own admission cut-off marks
acceptable” by it (JAMB) for courses on offer.
The organisation, however, reiterated that the
national cut-off mark of 180 for universities and
the 150 cut-off mark for polytechnics, colleges of
education and innovative enterprise institutions in
the 2015 Unified Tertiary Matriculation
Examination was a benchmark to set the tone for
the 2015 admission exercise.
The spokesperson for JAMB, Dr. Fabian Benjamin,
in a statement issued on Sunday, in Abuja, said
the decision to have a nationally accepted cut-off
mark was to serve as a guide and pruning
mechanism to give tertiary institutions qualitative
candidates to choose from.
He, however, said universities and other tertiary
institutions were at liberty to go higher, but not
lower, depending on their peculiarities and the
performances of candidates that chose them.
Benjamin said the cut-off marks should be
uniformly applied to all candidates based on
existing admission criteria by the authorities of
the institutions.
Benjamin said, “The policy in UNILAG is aimed at
ensuring that our universities admit only the best
as done globally. Please, be informed that JAMB
ensures that these institutions apply these cut-off
marks uniformly to all candidates without
discrimination. The decision of JAMB for this
year’s process was done in good faith and not to
jeopardise the rights of candidates.
“Those candidates who do not meet the cut-off
marks of such institutions will be placed in needy
institutions within their geopolitical zone,
depending on available space in such institutions.
The aim is to accommodate as many candidates
as possible, instead of just pushing them to
schools we know do not have the carrying
capacity to admit candidates.
“For instance, UNILAG with a carrying capacity of
about 9,000 has over 60,000 applying to it. The
question is: what happens to the over 50,000
students? We have other institutions like that and
what we are doing is to ensure that the balance
is also placed in other needy institutions.”
Benjamin said sequel to this development, JAMB
has redistributed the other candidates with cut-off
marks less than what their first choices required
to needy institutions.
Meanwhile, the Academic Staff Union of
Universities, University of Ibadan chapter, has
condemned the JAMB’s policy of reassigning
candidates to other tertiary institutions other that
their choices.
While reacting to the policy, the ASUU chairman in
UI, Prof. Segun Ajiboye, described it as insensitive
and exploitative of the children of the poor, adding
that it amounted to an abuse of their fundamental
human rights of freedom to choice.
The ASUU chairman said JAMB had made the
admission process chaotic and exposed
candidates to fraudsters, saying that JAMB must
consider the security of lives of candidates and
their rights before introducing any policy.
Ajiboye, who also called for the scrapping of
JAMB, said the body had outlived its usefulness.

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