An umbrella body of journalists across media organisations covering education in Nigeria, the Education Writers’ Association of Nigeria (EWAN), has applauded the return of the post-Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination tests, saying that it is the outcome of its summit on the issue last year.
The Chairman and Secretary, Mr. Tunbosun Ogundare and Mojeed Alabi in a statement, lauded the minister’s position on the maximum N2,000 fees to be charged by institutions and warned the authorities of the individual schools against flouting it.
The Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu had in June 2016 banned the conduct of post-UTME by tertiary institutions, accusing them of extorting innocent candidates.
EWAN had immediately after the ban was announced, gathered together stakeholders, including a former education minister, a former NUC executive secretary, vice-chancellors and leaders of workers’ unions across universities, polytechnics and colleges of education to appraise the situation and offer unbiased positions on the matter.
According to the statement: “The view of stakeholders as expressed in a communiqué issued at the end of the summit which held in August 2016 at the University of Lagos had insisted that there was yet no alternative to post-UTME and that the adoption of SSCE results for the purpose of admission alone would lead to the proliferation of ‘miracle centres’ for SSCE.”
At the summit were both the minister of education who introduced the test in 2004 and the then Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Professors Chinwe Obaji and Peter Okebukola respectively and many other academics and stakeholders.
The association however called on stakeholders to critically analyse the decision of the Joint Admission Policy Committee to peg this year’s cut off marks for universities and polytechnics/colleges of education at 120 and 100 respectively out of the possible 400 marks, saying as experts, their opinions would be needed at this period.
“We hope the higher institutions will not hide under this to further milk the innocent candidates by inviting all of them for post-UTME even when they know that their quota may have been filled.”
The association also advised institutions not to explore the development at the detriment of innocent candidates and their already impoverished parents.