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FG suspends post-JAMB test

Posted by Segun Olugbile on 2005/10/13 | Views: 1633 |

FG suspends post-JAMB test


The Federal Government has directed universities to stay action on the contentious post-Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board test being conducted for candidates seeking admission.

The Federal Government has directed universities to stay action on the contentious post-Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board test being conducted for candidates seeking admission.

A top official of the National Universities Commission disclosed this on Thursday just as the Minister of Education, Mrs. Nora Obaji, summoned a stakeholders meeting on the issue on October 20.

The stakeholders comprise the NUC, the JAMB and the Higher Education Department of the ministry.

Letters by the NUC suspending the test until the outcome of the meeting has been dispatched to the universities.

The Vice-Chancellor, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State, Prof. Afolabi Soyode, confirmed the receipt of the letter to our correspondent on Thursday.

The test has generated heated public debate.

The Federal Government had on September 13 bowed to the request of the Committee of Vice-Chancellors to screen admission seekers to determine their quality and the genuineness of their scores in the UME.

The request was granted on the conditions that the universities would not charge extra fees and that the short-listing for the screening would not be an all-comers affair.

The guidelines also stated that only candidates that had scaled the JAMB hurdle and selected by universities would be invited for the screening.

Candidates were, however, expected to pay a uniform but minimal screening fee to JAMB, which would in turn remit a percentage of the proceeds to the universities.

The universities and the JAMB were directed to collaborate in screening the candidates.

But the policy was mired in controversy shortly after the Federal University of Technology, Akure; and the University of Lagos, commenced its implementation.

While the National Association of Nigerian Students, condemned the exercise as illegal and exploitative, JAMB said the universities were not following the guidelines.

At UNILAG, which administered the screening test on the candidates between Thursday and Friday last week, about 46,000 candidates invited for the screening paid N2,000 each.

Some of the students also bought change of course forms, when cut-off marks had not been determined.

The Vice-Chancellor of UNILAG, Prof. Oye Ibidapo-Obe, said an estimated N90million realised from the fees, was used to provide materials and other logistics for the exercise.

The candidates were tested in English Language and the three subjects they wrote during the matriculation examinations.

At the University of Benin, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Emma Nwanze, said 38,000 candidates had been short-listed for the exercise initially scheduled to hold between October 25 and 27.

The university did not state how much it was going to charge as screening fee.

The process, observers noted had made admission more expensive, tedious and strenuous for prospective undergraduates.

The PUNCH, Friday, October 14, 2005

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