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Why JAMB opted for flexible cutoff marks —Registrar: Education : - Nigeria's Premier Online Forum (149 views)

Why JAMB opted for flexible cutoff marks —Registrar

By alagbe003 (M)January 05, 2017, 05:54:34 AM
The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) says it opted for flexible cutoff marks for admissions into universities and other tertiary institutions owing to protest by some institutions over the introduction of a common national minimum cutoff mark of 180.

Tribune Education gathered that many institutions that were not comfortable with the 180 minimum benchmark for admissions, especially private universities and other tertiary institutions, wrote to JAMB for waiver.

The ‘controversial’ approval of 180 national minimum cutoff mark at a combined policy meeting for admissions after the conduct of the 2016 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) had generated mixed reactions from different stakeholders.

While some lauded the initiative as a step towards removal of the age-long dichotomy between university’s degree and polytechnic’s Higher National Diploma (HND), others had kicked against the policy, arguing that the 180 was a mere suggestion by the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, and should have been debated in order to arrive at a consensus.

However, after the exit of Professor ‘Dibu Ojerinde, the immediate past registrar of the board, who superintended over the policy meeting where the cutoff mark was decided, JAMB was inundated with requests from institutions for waiver when it dawned on them that the policy was unrealistic.

The current registrar and chief executive of JAMB, Professor Ishaq Oloyede, confirmed this recently in a presentation made at a meeting with the Committee of Provosts of Colleges of Education held at the National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE), Abuja.

He noted that consequent upon his visits to polytechnics and colleges of education in Kano and Jigawa states and following representations to his office from many institutions, it was apparent that the issue of common national minimum cutoff mark was not acceptable to many private universities, polytechnics, colleges of education and Innovation Enterprise Institutions (IEIs).

Oloyede added that the case for waiver was amplified with a letter dated 11th November, 2016 to the registrar of JAMB from the provost of a foremost college of education, Adeyemi College of Education, Ondo, in which he stated that “after the completion of our screening exercise, the college discovered that only 22 candidates chose the college as their Institution of first choice in the UTME conducted by JAMB, and scored 180 marks and above.”

According to him, the college’s approved quota for the Nigeria Certificate in Education (NCE) programme is 4,895.

Part of the letter reads: “Even more worrisome is the fact that the initial 22 candidates that chose the college as their institution of first choice now opted for our degree programme because of the uniform cutoff mark for both programmes.

“It was equally noted that only 939 candidates showed interest in the NCE programme and majority of them scored below the minimum of 180 marks, which makes them unqualified for the programme, even though we advertised for a minimum of 180 marks.

“Interestingly, over 10,000 candidates applied to be screened for our degree programmes. The current approved quota for the college for its degree programme is 1,000.”

Accordingly, the board wrote to the minister of education on the need to approve a waiver to make the cutoff flexible to reflect the desire and need of institutions.

It was gathered that JAMB made it clear to the minister of the different duration for the various programmes, stressing that the institutions have given reasons national minimum cutoff mark should not apply to different programmes with different duration.

For instance, degree programme is between four and six years; NCE, three years and ND, two years. ND is lower and different from HND that could be equated to first degree.

On the public service entry, a degree holder is placed at Grade Level 08/09 or 10, while NCE is Grade Level 07 and ND, Grade Level 06.

The JAMB registrar further disclosed that it is now proposed that henceforth, the Committee of Vice Chancellors, Committee of Rectors and Committee of Provosts should be given the opportunity to meet, discuss and reach a consensus on the cut-off marks for their various categories of institutions before the Policy Committee on Admissions where decisions should be tabled for approval.

“In response to the numerous requests for waiver of the national minimum cut-off mark, the board has received a green light for the following: Universities that have exhausted all registrable candidates with scores of 180 and above can consider candidates with scores of 160 and above.

“Monotechnics, polytechnics and colleges of education that have exhausted all registrable candidates with scores of 180 and above can consider candidates with 120 and above,” he said.

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