The lawmakers debated a motion by Victor Ogene.
The House of Representatives has ordered an evaluation of new federal college cut off marks that would bar students from states like Anambra State who score less than 139 from being admitted into federal secondary schools, while a child who scored as woeful as “two”, would be admitted.
Lawmakers said the cut-off marks into the unity schools, announced by the federal education ministry and the National Examination Council weeks ago, will promote mediocrity and undermine excellence.
While for instance, a male or female child from Imo state will need to score 138 to be admitted, a male child from Yobe state needs only two, while females need to score 27.
Also, while a child from Abia must score 130 to gain admission into the schools, their colleagues in Kebbi state only need to score nine (for male), 20(for female).
The House said in a motion seeking to halt the distribution that the Ministry of Education’s explanation that the policy will encourage “educationally disadvantaged states” in line with the Federal Character, was untenable.
The house is “worried that if this discriminatory policy is allowed to stand, we will not only be encouraging illegality, but also be destroying the core values of merit, hardwork and excellence in favour of indolence and mediocrity,” the motion, sponsored by Victor Ogene, said.
The resolution said the benchmarks are discriminatory, and violate the constitution which stipulates against the bias on the basis of community, ethnic group, place of origin, gender.
“Worried that at a time when affirmation action is geared towards assisting the girl-child, this Executive policy is ironically tilted against female candidates in several states, requiring them to score higher marks than their male counterparts before securing admission, contrary to provisions of the Nigerian Constitution that requires that nobody should suffer discrimination based on gender,” it said.
The House however, refused to order an immediate nullification of the marks, but mandated its committee on education is to meet with the ministry and the NECO to evaluate the marks.