UI, JAMB Trade Accusations Over Redistribution Policy | Independent Newspapers Limited
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UI, JAMB Trade Accusations Over Redistribution Policy

Posted: Jul 28, 2015 at 6:55 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Oladele Ogunsola  –  Ibadan 


The decision of the Joint Admissions Matriculation Board (JAMB) to redistribute candidates who did not make the cut-off mark of their preferred tertiary institution in the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) may not have gone down well with some institutions as a cold war is presently brewing between the University of Ibadan chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and JAMB over the policy.

JAMB’s Head of Media, Dr. Fabian Benjamin said the “redistribution” involved moving candidates who had cut-off marks “lower than what their institutions of first choice required to needy institutions.” He said that the policy was adopted to assist the candidates and their parents. The policy has however raised some concern as the ASUU in University of Ibadan kicked against it and accused JAMB of exposing the candidates to fraudsters and making the admission process chaotic.

It said, “JAMB must respect candidates preferences and choices for tertiary institutions and consider security of lives of candidates, cost, proximity, quality, and rights of the Nigerian child in arriving at any policy”. The university teachers also canvassed that JAMB be scrapped and called on “Nigerians to join in the demand because it (JAMB) has outlived its usefulness”.

ASUU chairman in University of Ibadan, Prof. Olusegun Ajiboye, described the Redistribution Policy as insensitive and exploitative and amounted to abuse of the fundamental human rights of freedom of choice of the candidates.

The university teachers also accused JAMB Registrar, Prof. Dibu Ojerinde of being insensitive to the plights of the Nigerian masses whose parents, he said  had not been paid for months, and were now being forced to pay N1,000 to find out where their wards had been redistributed to, even against their choices.

Ajiboye asked JAMB to rethink the Act establishing it (Act 5 (c i-iii) which prescribed that the placement of suitable qualified candidates into tertiary institutions must take into account “the preferences expressed or otherwise indicated by candidates for certain tertiary institutions and courses; the vacancies available in each tertiary institution; the guidelines approved for each tertiary institution by its proprietor or other competent authority.”

Ajiboye urged President Muhammadu Buhari to call the JAMB registrar to order “so as not to make the children of the masses who populate public schools suffer”. He also urged the president to probe the over N1bn, he said would be generated from the purchase of the redistribution scratch cards.

According to him, “the University of Ibadan provided a level play ground for students who scored 200 and above in JAMB. But, in a swift reaction, JAMB dismissed the claim that it charged candidates money to check the institution they were redistributed to. It said candidates could check for their names and institutions they were put in on the Board’s website from Thursday, 30th July, 2015 free of charge.

“The Board has redistributed the other candidates who have cut-off marks less than what their first choice required to needy institutions and we urge candidates and parents to check the Board’s website from Thursday, 30th July, 2015 for their names and institutions they are placed in and it’s free without paying any amount.

“Please for purpose of clarity, the checking is FREE. The decision to have a national accepted cut-off mark at policy meeting was to serve as a guide and pruning mechanism to give the tertiary institutions qualitative candidates to choose from a pool of candidates desirous of tertiary education.

“However, Universities and other levels of tertiary institutions are at liberty to go higher, but not lower, depending on their peculiarities and the performances of candidates that choose them. Provided these cut off marks are uniformly applied to all candidates based on existing admission criteria by proprietors of these institutions. “Universities are centres of excellence anywhere in the world and ours should not be an exception. The policy witnessed in University of Lagos is aimed at ensuring that our Universities admit only the top best as done globally. The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board is working round the clock to ensure that Nigerian universities are among the best in Africa and perhaps the world in the next ranking and to also utilise the available spaces and admit more candidates bearing in mind the admission criteria of various needy institution.

“The Board wishes to state that no candidate would be denied any right to aspire to tertiary education even as it is aware that some universities have their own admission cut-off marks acceptable by the Board for courses they offered. Please be informed that the Board ensures that these institutions apply these cut-off marks uniformly across all candidates without discrimination.

“The decision of the Board on the print-out for this year exercise was done in good faith not to jeopardise the right of candidate due to individual cut-off set by some Nigerian tertiary institutions. Those candidates who do not meet the cut-off marks of such institutions will be placed in needy institutions within their geopolitical zone depending on available space in such institutions.

“The Board’s aim is to accommodate as many candidates as possible instead of just pushing them to schools we know ab initio don’t have the carrying capacity to admit all. For instance University of Lagos with a carrying capacity of about 9,000 has over 60,000 applying to them. The question is what happens to the over 50,000? We have other institutions like that and what we are doing is to ensure that the balance is also placed in other needy institutions.

“Nigerians are also urged to please believe in the Board, as it continually strives to give the entire education system the best. We are not comfortable with the large number of candidates that year in year out, sit for the Board’s matriculation examination without being admitted.

“It is the belief of the Board that this policy will address the shortfall and accommodate more candidates and ensure that admission exercise are conducted on time”, the JAMB spokesperson explained.