Senator Iroegbu in Abuja
The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has condemned what it described as the backward review of the cut-off marks for admission into tertiary institutions in Nigeria
The Joint Admissions Matriculation Board (JAMB) in its latest meeting reduced the marks from 180 for universities and 165 polytechnics, to 120 and 100 respectively.
But the NANS President, Chinonso Obasi, in a statement thursday, described the exercise as a gross misplacement of priority and exercise in futility
According to Obasi, knowledge acquisition is a function of determination and hard work, adding that if over the years, students were able to work hard to meet cut-off points, it doesnâ€™t make any logical sense to now lower the standard.
He insisted that the inability of any student to meet the cut-off points is a function of outright indolence that should not be encouraged.
Obasi stressed that even at â€œthe current status, the general phenomenon is that Nigerian graduates are not employable, and stated that lowering of standard will translate to a disastrous outcome in the future by churning out young people who cannot fit into the demands and expectations of the 21st century.â€
He insisted that Nigerian youths are intelligent and willing to learn, arguing that because of the enabling environment provided by tertiary institutions abroad, Nigerian students who school abroad are known to study and come out with exemplary performance.
Obasi stated that the 21st century is driven by innovation and competitiveness, and so lowering the entering level into tertiary institution will only further contribute to reducing the productivity and peak performance of young people seeking admission into the countryâ€™s higher institutions of learning.
The NANS president argued that the challenge of the tertiary institutions in Nigeria is not in the prospects of entering but largely dependent on the numerous challenges within the various institutions ranging from the falling standard of education due to lack of modern day teaching facilities, low level of morale by the teaching staff, lack of adequate facilities and enabling environment that facilitates effective and efficient learning by the students.
He also decried the high level of inconsistencies in policy formulation and implementation in the education sector, and call on the government to mainstream and benchmark global best practices in educational policy formulation and implementation concentrate more efforts to address germane issues bedeviling education in Nigeria rather than embarking on frivolous policies that would further compound the falling standard of education in Nigeria.
The NANS president stated that as critical stakeholders in the education sector, the student body would vehemently resist the review and call on the government to maintain the status quo and endeavour to conduct a comparative study and analysis of policies from other climes that support functional learning and production of young people that can compete with their peers globally.