Nigeria’s first female substantive Minister of Education, Mrs. Chinwe Obaji introduced the policy of Post-JAMB screening by Universities in 2005. Supported by the then President, Olusegun Obasanjo, it was made mandatory for all tertiary institutions to undertake the task of further screening candidates after their JAMB results before giving admission.
Despite the skepticism with which it was received, the policy survived for 11 years with successive Ministers of Education, including Mrs. Oby Ezekwesili, Sam Egwu, Ruqqayat Rufai, Ibrahim Shekarau all endorsing its continuation.
Why was Post-UTME introduced?
According to the Education Minister that introduced the scheme, The Post JAMB as it was known then was introduced to curb the problem of the absence of correlation between JAMB scores and the actual performance of candidates. According to her, “the screening exercise will take care of all kinds of ills in the Universities as it will make sure that it is only those students who are ready to learn that are given admission.”
Why was it scrapped?
Reasons the Post UTME were scrapped according to the Minister are as follows…
- The Nigerian government has confidence in JAMB and the integrity of their results and as such does not see any reason why students should be subjected to another exam before gaining admission. ‘If any University has any complain against Jamb, let them bring it and we address it,” the Minister said.
- JAMB is qualified to conduct tests so when they do conduct the tests, their results is valid enough. “There will be no need to conduct another test for students to gain admission,” the Minister added.
What has changed about JAMB in the last 11 years?
Though many prospective undergrads are rightfully excited about the cancellation of the Post UTME, the lingering question is what has improved about the UTME to instill such confidence in the exam body. From what is evident to even the blind in Nigeria, nothing has changed fundamentally. Special centers still exist… Most, if not all of the ‘ills’ Mrs Obaji saw and tried to counter in 2005 are still there and have not been addressed by the present administration.
So, in a nutshell, it has taken us the whole of 11 years to dance around in a circle since the introduction of the Post JAMB only to arrive at the exact spot we started from in 2005. Nigeria can do better.
– Daniel Fayemi for encomium.ng