JAMB’s cut off marks too low, NANS says during protest

Registrar, Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) Prof. Ishaq Oloyede (R) addressing a News Conference in Abuja on Friday (7/4/17) on the proposed Computer Based Mock Examination holding Nationwide on Saturday April 8. With him is the Director of Test Administration, Dr Yusuf Lawal 02124/7/4/2017/Deborah Bada/ICE/NAN

The National Association of Nigerian Students has rejected the downward review of cut-off marks for admission into Nigerian tertiary institutions.

The Joint Admission and Matriculation Board, JAMB, had on Tuesday stated the cut off marks as 120 for degree awarding institutions, 100 for monotechnics and polytechnics and 110 for innovative enterprising institutes.

Until the review, the marks were 180 for degree awarding institutions and 150 for the others.

But the umbrella body for Nigerian students on Thursday described the new pegs as unreasonable and unacceptable.

The group expressed its dissatisfaction during a protest they held at JAMB headquarters in Bwari, Abuja. The protest was led by NANS’ vice president, Olamide Odumosu.

Mr. Odumosu said the reduction in the cut-off marks would only lead to corruption and worsen the level of academic performance of students.

He said the review would open Nigerian students to exploitation.

“JAMB in conjunction with Vice Chancellors and Provosts is exploiting Nigerian Students thereby reducing the level of education in the country,” he said.

Mr. Odumosu said the association would mobilise students across the country to protest the review if not reversed.

Also speaking, Idowu Ajayi, National Public Relations Officer of NANS, said the increment of the regularisation fees by JAMB from N5,000 to N10,000 should be reviewed.

“How can a minister of Federal Republic of Nigeria say something and say it was a mistake? How can scrapping post UTME be a mistake?”, he quipped.

The National President of the association, Chinonso Obasi, had in a statement made available to PREMIUM TIMES also condemned the new cut off marks.

“Knowledge acquisition is a function of determination and hard work and so if over the years students were able to work hard to meet cut-off points, it doesn’t make logical sense to now lower the points,” he said.

Mr. Obasi said the general phenomenon was that Nigerian graduates are not employable, stressing that lowering the entrance marks into Nigerian tertiary institutions would translate to churning out young people who would not be able to meet the demands and expectations of the 21st Century.

Yusuf Lawal, Director of Test Administration of JAMB, while addressing the protesters, said JAMB was ready to look into some of the issues raised by the students.

Mr. Lawal explained that the cut-off marks were the unanimous decision at the policy meeting convened by JAMB for stakeholders on August 22 in Abuja .

“For the cut-off points, JAMB is a clearing house for tertiary institutions. The setup of the board is not to take over process or mandate of the tertiary institutions.

“It was the tertiary institutions that met and that we should not dissipate energy on publicity, multiplicity of exam and multiplicity of admission,” he said.

He said JAMB would table some of the issues for discussion.

“We are already looking at how we can reduce application fee of the coming year.”

“There is opportunity for dialogue. It is good we ventilate, discuss and arrive at solution and move the education sector forward,” he said.

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