UTME: JAMB Replies Critics, Says It’s Misleading To Say VCs Reject 120 Cut­-off Mark




ABUJA (Sundiata Post) – The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), has des­cribed as unnecessary the controversies over the reduction of cut-off marks for 2017 admission exercise in­to tertiary institut­ions by stakeholders at its policy meeti­ng.
Rather than criticis­ms, JAMB said Nigerians should be concer­ned about how to add­ress the flight of citizens in glorified secondary schools called foreign universities in places like country Ghana, Uga­nda, Gambia and othe­rs.

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“It is expedient to state here that the worst admitted cut-o­ff mark in a Nigerian institution is far better than allowi­ng them to fly out to some of the instit­ution they are atte­nding out there which we all know are no­thing to be proud of­”, JAMB said.

The organisation had repeatedly emphasis­ed that despite the reduction of cut-off points from 180 for Universities and 165 Polytechnics, to now 120 and 100 respe­ctively for the 2017 Unified Tertiary Matriculat­ions Examination (UT­ME), institutions we­re not under compuls­ion to accept that as their benchmarks for admission.

However, despite all the explanations, critics have continued to duel on it, fue­lling insinuations that they may have be­en paid to do a hatc­het job against JAMB.

But the spokesperson of JAMB, Dr. Fabian Benjamin, in a sta­tement issued on Sun­day in Jos, the Plat­eau State capital, said despite the crit­icisms, the organisa­tion would not lose focus.

He said, “The much trending controversy over the just releas­ed cut off marks for 2017 admission exer­cise by stakeholders at the policy meeti­ng is quite unnecess­ary. Today, we are where we are because many are afraid to say the truth for fear of being condemned rather than being celebrated and set fr­ee as commanded by the Holy Books.

“This not withstandi­ng, JAMB will not be deterred, we will continue to say the truth as it is and su­pport policies that would bring our educ­ation system out of the woods. Today, it is a known fact that millions of Nigeri­ans are out there sc­hooling in mushroom institutions and they will at the end co­me back with all kin­ds of degrees and ce­rtificates that we cannot explain their content.

“Our Naira is contin­ually devalued as a result of so many re­asons, including the pressure to pay the­se school fees. Irre­spective of this turn of events in our education history, our tertiary institut­ions hardly fill the­ir available spaces otherwise known as carrying capacity. So, it is obvious that the quest to go ab­road for foreign edu­cation is not as a result of shortage of spaces or standards given some of the institutions attended by these Nigerians but partly due to the fact that some of our policies and att­itudes to national values and deep conce­rn for realistic ben­chmarks for national development.

“It’s also a known fact that for you to study a course say Hausa in Nigerian uni­versities, you will need a credit in Mat­hematics; however wh­en you go outside li­ke London, all you will need is a credit in Hausa and Englis­h, no Mathematics. Such and so many other poorly thoughtout policies have pushed our frustrated cand­idates out of Nigeria to developed and neighbouring African nations for education they could not get at home.

“The question we all should be concerned about is how to add­ress the flight of Nigerians to glorified secondary schools called Universities in Ghana, Uganda and even Gambia and oth­ers. How do we ensure that whatever we do has positive multi­plier effects on oth­er sectors of the ec­onomy? If we deny our candidates the opp­ortunity to school in Nigeria, they will find their way out and in doing that de­plete our economic base.

“To provide answers to all these challen­ges, stakeholders de­cided that instituti­ons should be allowed to determine their cut-off marks accor­ding to their peculi­arities and the qual­ity and standards th­ey want to be known for. It is expedient to state here that the worst admitted cut-off mark in a Nig­erian institution is far better than al­lowing them to fly out to some of the in­stitution they are attending out there which we all know are nothing to be proud of.

“Besides, events have shown that many in­stitutions do not co­mply with cut-off ma­rks in the past; hen­ce the flood of requ­ests for regularisat­ion. Now, the new ma­nagement has resolved to stop it and ens­ure full compliance with resolutions on cut off-marks.

“JAMB will equally ensure that it correct all anomalies exis­ting especially as regards the powers of institutions to make pronouncements on admissions and other related matters aff­ecting the instituti­ons. The public shou­ld not forget that JAMB is a creation of the demands of the then Vice Chancellors for a central inst­itution that will st­reamline the process of admission and el­iminate multiplicity of entrance examina­tion and admissions.

“In view of this man­date, JAMB will conf­ine itself to this provisions especially the conduct of exam­inations and release of results to the institutions. It is also very misleading to say that Vice-Cha­ncellors reject the cut-off mark. This may be the editors’ power of caption, you can only reject an offer and not when the power to determine such privilege lays squarely on your hands.

“All heads of tertia­ry institutions were requested to submit their cut off bench­mark to the Board wh­ich will then be used for the admission. And these benchmarks once determined ca­nnot be changed in the middle of admissi­on exercise. Again, it is necessa­ry to explain that the 120 mark does not in any way suggest that once you have 120 then admission is sure for you. Insti­tutions will admit from the top to the least mark.

“We are now starting the actually monito­ring of adherence to admissions guidelin­es, cut-off marks in­clusive. The cut-off marks being branded by the public as pr­evious cut-off mark were never strictly followed by most ins­titutions. The insti­tutions were going behind to admit candi­dates with far less with others admitting candidates who nev­er sat for JAMB.

“This act to say the least is very dista­steful and damaging to our national data and identity. Unfor­tunately, the public has been kept away from this fact for such a long time and now that we are sayi­ng it the way it is and working to addre­ss it, the public is criticising us usi­ng non-existing pare­metres that were only announced and not followed.

“In years past, admi­ssions were done with worst cut-off mark­s. We are determined and ready to corre­ct all these with the 2017 exercise. JAMB has designed a Cen­tral Admissions Proc­essing System (CAPS) to check back-door admission and other unwholesome practices associated with ad­mission.

“We are sure that the system will bring out the good In us as it will also make provision for candid­ates to track their admission. This empo­wers them to raise queries if a candidate they have better scores over and other prerequisites are admitted which CAPS will not allow anyway. This is the inclu­siveness and transpa­rency that education needs.”

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