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University Admissions: FG May Throw Overboard Uniform Cut-off Point

Indications emerged yesterday that the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board  (JAMB) may throw out the uniform cut-off point for admission into tertiary institutions in the country. Presently, the federal government pegged 180 mark as the cut-off point for admission into all tertiary institutions in Nigeria.

Speaking yesterday, JAMB Registrar, Prof Is-haq Oloyede, said there was an urgent need to rethink the current cut-off point of 180 for admission in order to strengthen access to education, particularly for the poor.

He further revealed that it was critical for “all notable stakeholders to rethink the issue of cut-off marks. I am calling for national debate on the propriety of cut-off marks, institutions should be allowed to determine the kind of candidates they want.”

He argued that “the uniformity of cut-off marks does not  make any sense when colleges and polytechnics admit for NCE and diplomas while universities admit for degrees and yet we subject them to the same cut -off marks thereby starving these tier of institutions from admitting  candidates who if not engaged, may likely become easy prey to social vices.”

Oloyede expressed worry over the class opportunities as it affects the distribution of admission resources.

He said JAMB  management had resolved to ensure that the change agenda of President Muhammadu Buhari concerning education is actualized in no distance time.

The JAMB boss added that this would be made possible through reforms currently going on in the board, stating that the board would continue to make reforms that would carry the interest of every Nigerian child irrespective of whether poor or rural settlers.

The Registrar also disclosed that the board has critically looked at the process of regularising candidates and found a lot of lapses which it cannot tolerate in its drive to effect positive change towards enhancing the fortune of tertiary education in Nigeria.

He maintained that “in its efforts to discourage this abused and perhaps stop it permanently, JAMB has designed a template to be completed on-line by candidates and  endorsed by the Vice-Chancellors, Rectors, Provosts or Registrars of the candidates institutions  who will then be submitted to the board’s offices nearer to the institution for the Registrar’s approval subject to available evidence.

“JAMB may deny approval if sufficient and convincing reasons are not given. The public is to note that all admissions are done by the academic board of tertiary institutions and submitted to the board which ensures that the admissions meet set requirements by proprietors of these institutions and government criteria.

“As such there is no basis for regularisation. The board only design this process to clear any backlog as it doesn’t intend to continue with regularisation exercise again.”

The decision by JAMB to tinker with the uniform cut-off point is likely to attract criticisms given similar opposition to the different admission policies and cut-off point for admission. 

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