Beyond JAMB Cutoff Marks; Varsities Candidates Cross More Hurdles

Nigeria News take a look at the discordant views over JAMB cut-off marks for candidates to secure placement in Nigeria tertiary institutions.


The cutoff marks released by the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board, JAMB for candidates to secure placement to Nigerian tertiary institutions have been a major topic of debate in the public domain.


The Registrar of JAMB, Ishaq Oloyede said that the minimum cut off marks for admissions into universities in Nigeria is 120; for polytechnics and colleges of education 100 while the board pegs it at 110 for innovative enterprising institutes in the country.


The Federal Government has also agreed with the universities to conduct Post-Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination.


The Minister of Education, Mr. Adamu Adamu allowed the return of Post-UTME to pacify the striking Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASSU. Nevertheless, the strike continues.


Over the years, stakeholders have persistently queried the mode of admission process into Nigerian federal tertiary institutions.


It is restricted by various factors, which of course has not helped the standard and quality of university education in so many ways.

Beside the fact that a candidate must prepare to score good marks in UTME, there are such factors as Catchment Area, Quota System, Educational Disadvantaged States, Types of Programme, he will need to consider before choosing a university.


In other words, every Federal educational institution must not only consider merit but must adhere strictly with other factors.


The consequence is that a candidate with higher score may not essentially gain admission if he cannot beat merit list while a candidate with lower mark from educational disadvantaged state gets the nod.


Unlike in the past when admission was strictly based on merit and a southerner could easily apply for a programme in the north and vice versa, it is not so now, the catchment factor will stand against such a candidate. Except he beats the merit list, he would be asked to go back to his region.


This is how bad the admission method has turned. Despite the introduction of Post-UTME, these criteria are followed.


And in spite of these criteria, JAMB cut-off marks have continued to slide down. Last year, the cutoff mark for university was 180 while that of Polytechnics and Colleges of Education was 150.


On Monday, JAMB lowered the minimum cutoff marks to 120 and 100 respectively out of the 400 total marks.


However, findings revealed that almost all the candidates that scored lower marks hardly got placement for university education. Some drop to Polytechnics and Colleges of Education but show up the following year to rewrite UTME for varsity placement.


Their minds are in universities while studying in polytechnics and colleges of education.  Some who are fortunate to get varsity admission end up studying the course they never enrolled for.


The result is that the tertiary institutions continue to churn out inferior graduates year in year out.


It was gathered that many of the candidates who could not get admission to government tertiary institutions found their ways into private universities where they pay high tuition.


While only a few of the private universities can boast of quality human resources and facilities, their fees are on the high side. Even at this, private varsities are no go area for poor candidates.


What the candidates cannot produce with their brains can easily be bought with their money at many of the private varsities. It has been revealed that most of the private institutions do not even consider UTME scores.


What they consider is UTME attempt and the West African Senior School Certificate; the capacity to pay, grant the candidate a suitable tertiary institution placement.

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