Nigeria’s tertiary admission system exploitative – Survey

Posted by News Express | 11 August 2015 | 4,685 times

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Stakeholders in education say the processes leading to securing admission into tertiary institutions are exploitative.

They told News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Plateau, Benue and other states in North-Central Nigeria that the system was expensive, energy-sapping and strenuous.

Gunsling Yarlings, Chairman of the Plateau chapter of the Nigeria Union of Teachers, said there were too many examinations en-route to admission, especially to the universities.

“The processes start with the purchase of the JAMB form for which you must buy a scratch card and look for cyber café to fill same.

“After the examinations, which may be in some far away state, the candidate will have to buy another scratch card to check the result.

“After confirming your scores, you will have to get a scratch card to buy a post UTME form, and another scratch card to check the post-UTME scores conducted by the university.

“The candidate will then buy another scratch card to check the admission, and if the candidate is lucky to be admitted, he will then purchase another scratch card to begin the registration process,” he said.

He added that candidates in the rural areas had often traveled long distances to write examinations, check results and persistently wait for cut-off marks and still may not get the admission even if the scores were high.

Dr. Ade Adetiba, an educationist, who shared Yarlings lamentations, said such situation had often forced some parents to send their children to universities abroad.

“My last child is schooling abroad because he wrote JAMB examinations several times, had good grades but was not admitted into the university. That left me with no choice.”

Mr. Sylvester Usman, a university lecturer in Makurdi, said it was wrong for universities to conduct post-UTME examinations after JAMB had examined students and cleared them for admission.

“JAMB is statutorily saddled with the admission process; allowing the universities to conduct their own examinations is like passing a vote of no confidence on that body.

“If you look at the processes of UTME and post-UTME, they are simply the same, which means that it is a mere duplication.

“Such is not good for the children. It just stresses and frustrates them year in and year out.”

He, however, objected to the scrapping of JAMB, pointing out that other issues like states of origin would crop up if individual universities had the sole right to decide who they should take.

Mrs. Tabitha Adamu, who teaches in a polytechnic in Jalingo, said, “Without JAMB, there will be an even higher proliferation of magic high institutions, which will lower the standard of education in Nigeria.”

Chairman, Joint Union of Plateau State Tertiary Institutions (JUPTI), Mr. Victor Dawurang suggested that institutions should be mandated to reach certain standards before inclusion in JAMB brochure.

“If JAMB is scrapped, how do we set standard for our institutions to compete favourably with other institutions outside Nigeria?”

The JUPTI chairman objected to calls to mandate individual universities to conduct their own entrance examinations ``because schools would be influenced by many external factors which would tamper with standards.

“When these universities, especially the state-owned, are authorised to conduct their entrance examinations, ethno-religious considerations and low standards would set in.

“The ‘who-you-know syndrome’ will come in, and so will the commercialisation of admission.”

Dawurang said Post-UTME was necessary for school authorities to cross check the qualification of the candidates.

“Post-UTME will help ensure there is conformity with the cut-off marks and also ensure that other necessary considerations for admission are adhered to.”

Mr. Irorpuu Iorliam, Chairman of the Parent Teacher Association of a school in Gboko, Benue, said JAMB and UTME had often helped to screen out candidates that had controversial senior secondary school certificates.

“JAMB will help screen out those students who make `As’ in senior secondary certificates, yet cannot get the cut off mark.

“When you have that situation, it clearly shows that such candidates cannot defend or justify their result, meaning that they cannot defend such result even if they are admitted.”

The chairman objected to allowing schools to conduct their entrance examination because factors like indigeneship and the highest bidder could crop in.

He, however, said Post-UTME was not necessary since JAMB had already graded the candidates.

“Post-UTME is just a duplication of function and a clear vote of no confidence on JAMB’s capability.

“If the Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria, for example, determines the standards of knowledge and skills required to become registered teacher, NUT cannot come up with its set of rules to screen teachers.

“Let each institution carry out its mandate toward a less cumbersome educational process.”

Chairman, PTA, Plateau State, Mr. Sylvester Yakubu, wants the scrapping of the post-UTME, saying that JAMB should be allowed the sole function of screening the candidates to the various institutions.

“JAMB should facilitate students’ admission, not the school authorities. Poor students are forced to pay for the post-UTME. I see this as multiple taxations.” (NAN)

Source: News Express

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