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Post-UME saga: Concern persists over high failure rate

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YINKA LAWAL

How it started
In the quest to place successful candidates in their choice tertiary institutions, the body saddled with the responsibility, Joint Admission and Matriculation Board, JAMB had announced 180 as the cut off score for admission into degree programmes and 150 for national certificate in education, national diploma and national innovation diplomas.
Meaning candidates who are seeking admission into university must have 180 while that of polytechnic and colleges of education should be 150.
Days later the body came with its decision to reassign candidates who do not meet the cut-off marks of their first choice institutions to other needy institutions with claims that it is to assist the reassigned candidates to have better chances of securing admission to the citadels of learning. Various tertiary institutions of learning also negated the notion with claims that their institutions have its standard and cut off marks.
The statement released by the body read, “The decision of JAMB on the print-out for this year’s exercise is done in good faith, not to jeopardize the rights of candidates due to individual cut-offs set by some Nigerian tertiary institutions.
“Those candidates who do not meet the cut-off marks of such institutions will be placed in needy institutions within their geopolitical zones, depending on the available space in such institutions. The aim is to accommodate as many candidates as possible, instead of just pushing them to schools we know, abinitio, do not have the carrying capacity to admit all.”
And this got candidates and parents who felt cheated furious, they felt the JAMB registrar, Professor Dibu Ojerinde had collected funds from private school owners who want candidates in their institution, others also alleged it was a plot by the body to gather fund which was approximated as 1billion.
JAMB publicist, Mr. Benjamin in a statement said a university, depending on its peculiarities , can raise its cut off mark above the national recommendation of 180 adding that the University of Lagos decided that their cut off point should be 250 as a means of getting the best candidates.
He said, “If the University of Lagos has over 25,000 students applying and they have a carrying capacity of less than 7,000 and has over 15,000 candidates that scored over 250, why will they take less than 250. It simply means the university is trying to see how they can get the best”
Until Federal Government waved the notion, UNILAG insisted on 250, the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife also claimed the institution can’t take 180 as its cut-off mark. For candidates who applied to the University of Ibadan, the university’s Director of Public Communication, Mr. Tunji Oladejo had said relevant authorities had not deliberated on the matter but that the average cut-off mark in the school was usually 200.
The fight
Hundreds of Unified Matriculation Examination candidates in a peaceful protest stormed the University of Lagos over the high cut-off marks for 2015/2016 post-UTME at the early hours of Wednesday, July 22 2015.Candidates and parents gathered at the university gates to protest against the decision of the institution to stop candidates from writing the post Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination,UTME, and in solidarity songs, they demanded the removal of the JAMB registrar, Dibu Ojerinde.
And after much protest and different says from stakeholders, the Federal Government overruled JAMB on its admission policy. The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Mr MacJohn Nwaobiala stated that candidates should be allowed to write their post UTME in their choice of institution rather than reassigning them to other institutions. Therefore various institutions had commenced on its post UTME
The result so far
The Principal Assistant Registrar, Public Relations, Mr. Adegbenro Adebanjo stated that Five thousand, six hundred and sixty-one(5661) candidates out of the nine thousand, nine hundred and sixty-six (9,966) persons who sat for the post-Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination at the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Ondo State, failed the examination.
According to him, the candidates scored less than 50 per cent in the institution.He added, “Only the best would be admitted, subject to NUC’s acceptance, as the university has a current carrying capacity to admit 2,834 persons into its existing 39 departments.”
Adebanjo Okon Imaabasi and Isichei Kenneth emerged the best candidates, as each of them scored more than 90 per cent in the examination. Okon is to study Biochemistry, Isichei will study Mechanical Engineering.
For Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, about 48 per cent of candidates who participated in the post-Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination failed the test.
The Public Relations Officer of the university, Mr. Abiodun Olarewaju, the University released the result of the screening test barely six hours after the Computer Based (CBT) exercise.
Olarewaju said that about 10,338 candidates out of 20,631 candidates obtained 200 and above in the admission screening test.
“A sizeable number of the candidates, however, put in exceptional brilliance, which produced spectacular results, scoring 300 and above, with four of them, who are aspiring to study Education English.
“Leading with the highest score of 348 is NZE, Samuel Onyenachi, with UTME no: 55227945CC, aspiring to study English Education, while the second highest of 344 was scored by ADEBAJO, Glory Olalekan, with UTME no: 55552404.
“The other two candidates, who both scored the same marks of 377 are EPUNAM, Ifeanyi Jude and OSENI, Felix Oluwatobi”, he added.
Finally
At the end, student who saw the need to mandatorily write exams in their choice of institutions only generated funds for institutions, for instance with swell profit, 27,000 candidates wrote OAU post Jamb exams paid 8000 each. For the first time and the management of the institution included the direct entry candidates.
The Deputy Vice-chancellor (Academic) of the University of Ibadan (UI), Prof. Gbemisola Oke, has disclosed that about 9.1 per cent of prospective post-UTME candidates seeking undergraduate admission into the University will be admitted.
Speaking during the Stakeholders’ Forum organised by the Distance Learning Centre (DLC), Prof. Oke stated that the institution could only admit 3,000 out of over 33,000 prospective students that met the requirement as set by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB).
For University of Lagos,more than 32,000 candidates will write the 2015 post-Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME)  which is scheduled to hold from August 12 to 14.
According to the institution’s Deputy Registrar (Information), Olagoke Oke, the figure was close to four times the 9,000 that was initially posted to the institution by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB).