JAMB replies critics of cut-off marks

A cross-section of candidates writing the 2017 JAMB and UTME computer based examination at the Federal University Oye-Ekiti, Pro-metrics Centre, in Oye-Ekiti, Ekiti State on Saturday (13/5/17).
02637/13/5/2017/Idowu Gabriel/HB/NAN
A cross-section of candidates writing the 2017 JAMB and UTME computer based examination at the Federal University Oye-Ekiti, Pro-metrics Centre, in Oye-Ekiti, Ekiti State on Saturday (13/5/17). 02637/13/5/2017/Idowu Gabriel/HB/NAN

The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, JAMB, has described as unnecessary the controversies over the reduction of cut-off marks for 2017 admission exercise into tertiary institutions by stakeholders at its policy meeting.

Rather than criticisms, JAMB said, Nigerians should be concerned about how to address the flight of citizens in glorified secondary schools called foreign Universities in places like country Ghana, Uganda, Gambia and others.

“It is expedient to state here that the worst admitted cut-off mark in a Nigerian institution is far better than allowing them to fly out to some of the institution they are attending out there which we all know are nothing to be proud of”, JAMB said.

The organisation had repeatedly emphasised that despite the reduction of cut-off points from 180 for Universities and 165 Polytechnics, to now 120 and 100 respectively for the 2017 Unified Tertiary Matriculations Examination (UTME), institutions were not under compulsion to accept that as their benchmarks for admission.

However, despite all the explanations, critics have continued to duel on it, fuelling insinuations that they may have been paid to do a hatchet job against JAMB.

But the spokesperson of JAMB, Fabian Benjamin, in a statement issued on Sunday in Jos, the Plateau State capital, said despite the criticisms, the organisation would not lose focus.

He said, “The much trending controversy over the just released cut off marks for 2017 admission exercise by stakeholders at the policy meeting is quite unnecessary. Today, we are where we are because many are afraid to say the truth for fear of being condemned rather than being celebrated and set free as commanded by the Holy Books.

“This notwithstanding, JAMB will not be deterred, we will continue to say the truth as it is and support policies that would bring our education system out of the woods. Today, it is a known fact that millions of Nigerians are out there schooling in mushroom institutions and they will at the end come back with all kinds of degrees and certificates that we cannot explain their content.

“Our Naira is continually devalued as a result of so many reasons, including the pressure to pay these school fees. Irrespective of this turn of events in our education history, our tertiary institutions hardly fill their available spaces otherwise known as carrying capacity. So, it is obvious that the quest to go abroad for foreign education is not as a result of shortage of spaces or standards given some of the institutions attended by these Nigerians but partly due to the fact that some of our policies and attitudes to national values and deep concern for realistic benchmarks for national development.

“It’s also a known fact that for you to study a course say Hausa in Nigerian universities, you will need a credit in Mathematics; however, when you go outside like London, all you will need is a credit in Hausa and English, no Mathematics. Such and so many other poorly thought-out policies have pushed our frustrated candidates out of Nigeria to developed and neighbouring African nations for education they could not get at home.

“The question we all should be concerned about is how to address the flight of Nigerians to glorified secondary schools called Universities in Ghana, Uganda and even Gambia and others. How do we ensure that whatever we do has positive multiplier effects on other sectors of the economy? If we deny our candidates the opportunity to school in Nigeria, they will find their way out and in doing that deplete our economic base.

“To provide answers to all these challenges, stakeholders decided that institutions should be allowed to determine their cut-off marks according to their peculiarities and the quality and standards they want to be known for. It is expedient to state here that the worst admitted cut-off mark in a Nigerian institution is far better than allowing them to fly out to some of the institution they are attending out there which we all know are nothing to be proud of.

“Besides, events have shown that many institutions do not comply with cut-off marks in the past; hence the flood of requests for regularisation. Now, the new management has resolved to stop it and ensure full compliance with resolutions on cut off-marks.

“JAMB will equally ensure that it correct all anomalies existing especially as regards the powers of institutions to make pronouncements on admissions and other related matters affecting the institutions. The public should not forget that JAMB is a creation of the demands of the then Vice Chancellors for a central institution that will streamline the process of admission and eliminate multiplicity of entrance examination and admissions.

“In view of this mandate, JAMB will confine itself to these provisions especially the conduct of examinations and release of results to the institutions. It is also very misleading to say that Vice-Chancellors reject the cut-off mark. This may be the editors’ power of caption, you can only reject an offer and not when the power to determine such privilege lays squarely on your hands.

“All Heads of tertiary institutions were requested to submit their cut off benchmark to the Board which will then be used for the admission. And these benchmarks once determined cannot be changed in the middle of admission exercise. Again, it is necessary to explain that the 120 mark does not in any way suggest that once you have 120 then admission is sure for you. Institutions will admit from the top to the least mark.

“We are now starting the actually monitoring of adherence to admissions guidelines, cut-off marks inclusive. The cut-off marks being branded by the public as previous cut-off mark were never strictly followed by most institutions. The institutions were going behind to admit candidates with far less with others admitting candidates who never sat for JAMB.

“This act to say the least is very distasteful and damaging to our national data and identity. Unfortunately, the public has been kept away from this fact for such a long time and now that we are saying it the way it is and working to address it, the public is criticising us, using non-existing parameters that were only announced and not followed.

“In years past, admissions were done with worst cut-off marks. We are determined and ready to correct all these with the 2017 exercise. JAMB has designed a Central Admissions Processing System (CAPS) to check back-door admission and other unwholesome practices associated with admission.

“We are sure that the system will bring out the good in us as it will also make provision for candidates to track their admission. This empowers them to raise queries if a candidate they have better scores over and other prerequisites are admitted which CAPS will not allow anyway. This is the inclusiveness and transparency that education needs.”


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  • tsunami1earthquake

    JAMB, don’t internalize an externality in order to evade the question. Remain focused! Why did you bring the cut-off mark to 200? And don’t you think this action would equally externalize an internality?

    • M.sc.M.Phil, Ph.D, B.A, B.sc,

      @tsunami1earthquake:disqus

      JAMB is headed by illiterates. Full stop. The excuse given here for making 30% FAIL MARK
      the acceptable standard for admission into any Nigerian university is the most ignorant
      proposition unbecoming of anyone who ever went to school – no logic and no sense!!

      • Zy

        The reason is simple, the cut-off mark is to favour the North since all the core northern states are classified as ELDS, with their 120 the can attend any university of their choice.

        • Princess Saka

          That is if the university agrees to admit them. I think the stand of JAMB is clear; ‘the least that can be admitted is 120 as Universities can raise it to what ever they want’. I understood this right from the beginning the press release on this came out and I have been so surprised at all the misunderstandings.

          • Zy

            The Universities don’t have a choice, the criteria says catchment area, ELDS and merit. The universities can only deal with merit and catchment area. ELDS will be forced on them, Jamb will actually send admission letters to ELDS. This was the process pre-1999.

  • Mani_Kay

    MUHAMMADU BUHARI EMBODIES ALL THAT HAS HELD NIGERIA DOWN SINCE INDEPENDENCE IN 1960 …. AND JAMB WILL NOT BE LEFT UNAFFECTED

    1. promotion of mediocrity
    2. elevation of incompetence
    3. celebration of intellectual laziness
    4. vehement opposition against merit
    5. hatred to western education/western education must be destroyed (Boko Haram).
    6. creating and sustaining nests for corruption
    7. etc. etc. etc.

    • Sincere-Voice

      You’re on your own. Stop living in hatred.

  • odika don

    what did you people expect from them when every sector in nigeria is been headed by hausa fulanis people whom never and have never wanted westhern education. it better for you people who still believe on one nigeria. this is just the beginnig. nigerians your not ashame of your selfs cow is your president cows are on top of every thing in nigeria nto unu. biafra is going

    • Sincere-Voice

      You’re a bigot. What’s Hausa business or Igbo business in this. Anything that’s bad is bad, whether Hausa, Igbo or Yoruba. Bad remains bad! Stop disturbing others with your shallow thinking.

    • Chris Chiboi

      I can see how illiterate and ignorant you are. We talking about how most industries in Nigeria are been ran down against expectations, you choose to bring tribalism. Please how has your state fare developmentally or is it a Fulani or someone away from your tribe or ethnic is your governor? Abeg face fact or keep quite

  • Ihenyen Ikhide

    I am indeed sorry for my country if this is an official response to JAMB’s goof. I am a proud product of Nigerian universities and in the past 40 years or more I am able to hold my head up anywhere in the world. Admission into Nigerian universities were highly competitive when I became an undergraduate. Those who could not go to the few universities had to make do with other tertiary institutions and others found their way to tertiary institutions in other countries. Must we make our Universities objects of ridicule because we want everyone to have a degree? What has this got to do with our mismanaged currency? By my last count Nigeria now has well over 100 universities. What is wrong with optimising these institutions through effective management? When an examining body like JAMB now decides that candidates who score 30% in her examination should be admitted into universities, then we sure have a serious problem. But I know God will help us.

  • chibu

    The simple answer to the problem is for the government and the universities to increase the carrying capacity of the universities. Lowering the cut off mark will translate to nothing when the universities cannot admit more than a certain number of candidates. We need another excuse for this abuse of the system, nothing even the trooping of students to other countries can serve ad a better excuse.

  • Tess

    “We are now starting the actually monitoring of adherence to admissions guidelines, cut-off marks inclusive. The cut-off marks being branded by the public as previous cut-off mark were never strictly followed by most institutions. The institutions were going behind to admit candidates with far less with others admitting candidates who never sat for JAMB.”
    What a self-indictment by JAMB…So what has been the essence of the existence of JAMB all these years? Just doing what they should’ve been doing from inception? Where have they been all these years? That spaces in Nigerian institutions are not being filled due to cut-off marks is another coin to defend its blunders. You need to visit these institutions to know that they even admit more than what they should. JAMB has been toothless and still is toothless. Lowering standards is not good for the country’s well being whether the institutions comply or not. So if some of the institutions have been admitting below the previous cut-off marks, is lowering them the best option or increased monitoring with modern software? By the way if JAMB failed to monitor at the previous cut-off marks, how can they monitor at the present cut-off? The institutions can still admit below the present cut-off marks or without the candidates sitting for the UTME and go free as before. This institution has just confirmed its irrelevance to the public. The truth they have hidden in their explanations here is that they have been incapable of monitoring and sanctioning institutions because they’re participants in the irregularities rather than the lame excuses they give here.

  • TDaniels2

    JAMB is a disgrace and mediocre organisation. Concerned that glorified secondary schools abroad are universities, rather than improve local universities and set higher standards, it decided to lower entry requirements, what a ridiculous logic! Once upon a time , Nigerian universities were the envy of Africans and many came from abroad to school here. So what has changed? The likes of sheikh oloyede and those that benefited from quota system and federal character have reduced everything glorious about Nigeria to lowest common denominator.

    • @TDaniels2 please carefully read the article and resubmit your comment or delete it. Stay Bless.

    • Sincere-Voice

      Read the report again pal.

    • Frank Bassey

      You don’t understand what the issue is.

  • felixo100

    JAMB, you have carefully studied the history of admission anomalies in Nigeria over the years and now you are poised to effect corrections. 120 cut-off mark matters nothing, admission will favour those with higher marks first before those with low or lower marks. Scores obtained by a student in Jamb exam and exam set by his choice institution as well as the rating generated from his WAEC or NECO or GCE result will serve as tools to determine his cut-off point that will eventually earn him an admission letter.
    You also said institutions will no longer make pronouncements on admissions except under or on your permission/approval – all admission processes being done centrally. All these are okay. It will make admission to be based on merit. It will also ensure that a student is allowed to study his choice course if he meets the cut-off point rather than being forced to read what he never bargained for.
    But my worry is whether your can implement these wholesome and corrective policies for maximum effects. I commend you while I expect all good from the execution of your plans.

  • felixo100

    If you are correct to say Jamb is taking over some roles from the universities it is because these institutions are creating systemic abuses the same way they did decades ago that necessitated the birth of Jamb.