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Thursday, 23 July 2015

Parents, Applicants Protest JAMB Cut Off Marks At UNILAG



Prospective University of Lagos (UNILAG) students protested yesterday during their screening for admission for 2015/2016 session.
UNILAG’s Registrar Dr Taiwo Ipaye said only 9,000 of the 32,000 applicants were eligible for screening.
Ipaye said the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) considered a lot of options at its 2015 Combined Policy Meeting held on July 4, as a way out for the candidates.
“JAMB had during that meeting adopted a policy whereby candidates of universities with surplus applicants for the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) are reassigned to other universities with lower number of candidates, than their capacities.
“This will be beneficial to needy universities; as this will ensure that they will have more candidates to admit.
“This policy has been implemented with immediate effect and consequently, the eligibility for post- UTME screening in the University of Lagos like other universities in country, has been determined by JAMB.
“In effect, only candidates, whose names were forwarded to the University of Lagos by JAMB, are eligible for the 2015/2016 post-UTME,’’ she said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that some of parents, who brought their children for the exercise, expressed disappointments over the applicants’ exclusion from the JAMB’s list of shortlisted candidates.
A parent, Dr Ben Emone,  told NAN that his son made UNILAG his first choice, and scored 260 marks in the UTME.
According to him, it has been the tradition of the university to peg its cut-off mark, at least, at 200 for the post-UTME.
Emone criticised the university and JAMB for the sudden change in procedure, saying:
“I will not take this whole thing they are trying to explain because my son passed the UTME convincingly. If there was to be any change, we should have been sensitised well ahead of time and not just waking-up one morning to change the rule of the game.All I am saying is that my son must write this post-UTME or nobody will.
Association of Tutorial School Operators (ATSO) National President Mr Oludotun Sodunke blamed the crisis on the JAMB Registrar, Prof. Dibu Ojerinde.
He said Ojerinde was insensitive to parents’ plights, adding that the JAMB registrar was wrong to have introduced such last minute decision after pegging the cut-off mark at 180.
“I think Prof. Ojerinde has some questions to answer on this whole issue. There must be something he is not telling the public. Ojerinde must stop running JAMB as if it is his personal business empire.
“How can Ojerinde impose such high and unacceptable cutoff marks for five notable public universities in Nigeria under the guise of catchment, to qualify for post-UTME, and you expect us not to protest.
“The worst case scenario at least ought to have been the normal 200 marks and above, which universities like UNILAG and others were known for.
“If there must be anything new, it should be introduced next year after due consultations with all critical stakeholders, and the public adequately sensitised.
“For now, all we want is for all the candidates to be allowed to sit for the post-UTME or we go to court,’’ he said.
Former Chairman, Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), UNILAG Chapter, Mr Joseph Adefolalu said JAMB’s action was meant to destabilise the present administration.
JAMB’s spokesman Fabian Benjamin, described the parents’ agitation was uncalled for.
According to him, universities are at liberty to go higher than 180, as cut off marks, based on their peculiarities.
He said, whatever cut-off points they were adopting must be uniformly applied to all candidates.
“I do not see anything wrong with what UNILAG has done.
“This is because a time will come when some universities may have to peg their cut-off points at 300 marks, based on performance.
“Before we send candidates to the universities, we normally ensure that we know their carrying capacities; because we do not want a situation, whereby, they will present more than they can admit.
“There are private universities and other tertiary institutions that also need candidates, so, we try to distribute evenly,’’ he said.
Benjamin said JAMB, in its magnanimity, posted students that scored 200 and above to private universities, to prevent them from staying at home for another year.

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