Yinka Kolawole in Osogbo
The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) yesterday approved 160 as minimum score for admission seekers into public universities in Nigeria.
The decision was made during the 19th policy meeting on admissions to tertiary institutions in Nigeria at Bola Babalakin Auditorium, Gbongan, Osun State, yesterday
The meeting, which had in attendance vice chancellors, rectors of polytechnics and provosts of colleges of education, also approved 140 as cut-off mark for private universities; 120 for public polytechnics; 110 for private polytechnics; and 100 and above for colleges of education.
Speaking at the 19th policy meeting, the Registrar of JAMB, Prof. Ishaq Oloyede, disclosed that plans had been concluded to begin open examination for students seeking admissions into tertiary institutions in Nigeria.
According to the Oloyede the step, which was a new innovation for 2019 Unified Tertiary and Matriculation Examination (UTME), was part of efforts to further curb examination malpractice.
He stressed that the board was determined to provide one million questions for each subject out of which 50 would be taken for the examination.
The JAMB boss who noted that it has become a crime to collect password of candidates at CBT Centre, added that the innovation of remote network test would afford the body opportunity to monitor functioning computer without going to the universities.
He expressed worry over the high number of students that applied to study Medicine, disclosing that while 436,799 candidates applied for the course, only 35,923 vacancies were available.
Also the Chairman, Governing Board of JAMB, Dr. Emmanuel Ndukwe, noted that the board was striving to provide a unique standard that would be acceptable by students and parents.
He thanked the JAMB registrar for his commitment and sincerity, saying that his “transparency, accountability and dedication,” is legendary.
However the Director of Tertiary Education, Federal Ministry of Education, Mr. Ojo Joel Samuel, who spoke on behalf of the permanent secretary of the ministry, enjoined the board to be sensitive, transparent and sincere in the consideration of students cut-off mark.
According to him, “accountability and transparency have made it possible for JAMB to directly and indirectly support other Institutions and agencies in the education sector”.
He said it was gladdening that NECO had taken a cue with its unprecedented remittance of over a billion naira recently.
He urged the board to go further by ensuring the prosecution of all culprits and suspects of nefarious and criminal activities in order to serve as a deterrent to others, and to also send a very strong and clear signal to those that have entrenched themselves in these acts of criminality.
“It is disheartening that there are still many reports of unethical behaviours on our campuses, especially those relating to the abuse of trust and confidence reposed in staff of tertiary institutions”.
“The Federal Ministry of Education recently instituted a task-force to monitor how institutions deal with reported cases of abuse and to follow up on the implementation of the actions that are meant to address cases of unethical behaviours.
“The task force is empowered to recommend appropriate actions against any persons or institutions that fail to protect victims of unethical behaviours or condone such misbehaviour. Heads of institutions are to set up an Ombudsman system where all cases of unethical behaviours can be reported, with adequate protection for the victims.
“No institution should charge above the ministerial approved fee of not more than N2,000 for any form of post-UTME screening exercise.
“The board and the tertiary institutions should ensure that candidates under the Special Needs category are considered for admission provided they meet the minimum requirements.
“Blind and deaf candidates, prison candidates and foreign-centre candidates should be exempted from any other test apart from routine scrutiny of their credentials,” he explained.
In his remarks at the occasion the Osun State Governor, Mr. Gboyega Oyetola, who was represented by his deputy, Mr. Benedict Alabi, urged the board to sustain their standard in ensuring that qualified candidates are given admission in line with the guidelines and procedures.
He urged the board to give adequate consideration to the people living with disabilities and also strive to further flush out the bad eggs among the board.
Also in his remarks, Dr. Wale Babalakin (SAN), said the auditorium was donated freely for the second time because it was built for “serious intellectual discussion.
Babalakin said “We focused on education development. Please support us by participating in the usage of the auditorium. I’m impressed with your efforts to ensure that results of exam are credible,” he added.