Experts in the education sector have criticized the scrapping of the post-Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination.
The Education Minister, Mr. Adamu Adamu, had while declaring open a Combined Policy Meeting on admission to universities, polytechnics and other higher institutions, on Thursday in Abuja, said that candidates need not sit for another round of examination after the UTME conducted by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board.
Stakeholders, including a legal luminary, Chief Afe Babalola (SAN), and the former Vice-Chancellor of the Caleb University, Imota, Lagos, Prof. Ayodeji Olukoju, however, disagree.
Babalola, who is the founder of the Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State, described the directive as a tragic mistake. He added that the Federal Government should have consulted widely and considered what led to the creation of the post-UTME before making the announcement.
He said. “This, to me, is nothing but a most calamitous mistake, which poses danger and an irreversible adverse effect on the quality of education in this country.
“I am particularly surprised and worried that such a far-reaching decision could be taken without due and adequate consideration for how the concept of the post-UTME came into being. It is rather unfortunate that human memory is very short.”
Olukoju, also faulted the decision, urging the government to reconsider the decision. He said, “The introduction of the post-UTME has done a lot of good in the system. Our education is suffering because of policy somersaults. Universities have autonomy to decide whom to enrol or employ. Besides, education belongs to the concurrent list, so the Federal Government can only issue ‘decrees’ to institutions that it can fund. I think the government should have a rethink about this decision.”
Similarly, the new President, Academic Staff Union of Universities, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, said universities had the right to screen prospective students before admitting them.
He noted, “It is the duty of the university senate to set the cut-off marks for each of their programmes and set the guidelines to determine who is qualified for admission.
“The existence of JAMB or whatever score it sets cannot take away the statutory right of every university to determine who is qualified for their admission because that is vested in the senate of every university. Universities determine what would be the cut-off for each programme they run and the senate sets that score. ASUU is against using screening to exploit students or as a way of generating funds as they (universities) are doing presently. We are against that.”
- Daniel Fayemi for encomium.ng