The Federal Government has scrapped the University Tertiary Matriculation Examinations (UTME) as a pre-condition to gaining admission into universities in the country.
In the Seventh Senate, federal lawmakers moved to abolish UTME but were unable to conclude work until their tenure ended in 2015.
The decision was reached at the 2016 Combined Policy Meeting on Admissions to Degree, Nigerian Certificate of Education (NCE) and National Diploma (ND) chaired by Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu.
The minister reiterated confidence in the examinations conducted by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB).
“As far as I am concerned, the nation has confidence in what JAMB is doing. The universities should not be conducting another examination; and if the universities have any complaints against JAMB, let them bring it and then, we address it. But, if JAMB is qualified enough to conduct tests and they have conducted tests, then, there will be no need to conduct another test for students to gain admission,” said Adamu yesterday.
Meanwhile, JAMB and tertiary education stakeholders yeterday, in Abuja, adopted 180 as the cut-off mark for 2016 admission into universities, polytechnics and colleges of education.
In his opening remark, Adamu said that if there was confidence in JAMB’s conduct of the UTME, there should be no need for post-UTME.
UTME is organised by various tertiary institutions to screen candidates who applied to such institutions and who had scaled through JAMB’s UTME. “If the universities have problem with what JAMB is doing, they should come forward with it and we will address it. JAMB is one of the most active parastatals in the ministry; I expect that policies that would be beneficial to Nigerian students should be discussed at this meeting. I believe there should be no ground to lower the quality; Nov. 30 remains the closing date for 2016 admission.
In his speech, JAMB Registrar, Prof. Dibu Ojerinde, said screening of candidates at institution level would no longer be written examinations.
He also said the 180 cut-off mark was the minimum benchmark as different institutions could modify according to their specifications, capacity and other variables.
“180 is given, no institution will go below 180 this year, And some universities can go above it, I know University of Ife will not go below 200 and University of Lagos will not go below 200 and also UI. All these ones stand but 180 as bench mark for others. This year we have more than enough candidates, we have over 1.5 million candidates so we will get enough candidates to take in all the schools if they are serious. ..”
Re-distribution is already ongoing, because it is embedded in the registration procedure.”he saidretary, National Commission for Colleges of Education, said that whatever cut-off mark adopted for universities should also apply to colleges of education. Joshua urged universities to carry out their admission processes early enough in order to release students who could not secure admissions to universities to fall back to other institutions.
However, Prof. Joe Ahaneku, the Vice-Chancellor, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, argued that post-UTME was vital for quality assurance and maintenance of standard.
He said that his institution arrested 183 impersonators during its 2015 post-UTME, who were able to evade JAMB’s UTME.
NAN reports that no fewer than 1.5 million candidates sat for the 2016 UTME.
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