House Investigates Varied Cut-off Marks into Unity Schools

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James Emejo in Abuja
The House of Representatives yesterday passed a motion mandating its Committee on Basic Education and Services to investigate the basis for the cut-off marks set by the National Common Entrance Examination Board (NCEEB) for admission of pupils into Nigerian Unity Schools and report back within four weeks for further legislative action.

The resolution was consequent upon a motion moved by Hon. Randolph Oruene Brown (PDP, Rivers) on the need to probe the development.
He expressed concern that the trend of discriminatory cut-off marks for students who ought to study the same courses in the future and practice the same professions is dangerous for the country’s already epileptic educational system, and will no doubt affect the development of the county in the long run.

He said most of the compromised cut-off marks do not make up to 50 percent of the requisite 100 percent, while in some cases, the marks not make up to even 20 percent of the requisite percentage.

Brown further expressed worry that some students who have to meet a cut-off mark of 60 percent will be expected to end up in the same university and study the same courses as their contemporaries that had to meet up the cut-off mark of 14 percent for males and 12 percent for females respectively.

He said if the situation is not reversed, the Nigerian educational system would gradually collapse while the country would remain largely underdeveloped.

The lawmaker further drew attention to the fact that the Child’s Rights Act,  2003, already places is a duty on government to provide free compulsory and universal basic education for every Nigerian child,  hence the importance of education cannot be undermined.

Brown warned that the falling standard of education in any country is like an epidemic which all relevant authorities must consciously work towards redeeming the situation.
He added that the quality of education in the country has dropped to an alarming rate which portends great danger for the future.