A Monitoring and Evaluation Expert, Dr Julius Ajah of the University of Abuja has opined that enforcement of three-year University Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) results for admissions will weaken the institutions.
Ajah, who is also a lecturer in the Faculty of Agricultural Economics of the university advised the relevant authority to stop the ongoing process to amend the Act establishing JAMB.
“What they should do is to strengthen the admission process by removing or stopping the so called catchment areas or supplementary list in all federal tertiary institutions in Nigeria.
“States and private universities can observe “catchment areas or supplementary list” in order to assist educationally disadvantaged states.
“They are on the process of weakening the strength of the institution responsible for UTME and will eventually end up in reducing the quality of education in Nigeria if enforced.’’
Ajah explained that the amendment would only jeopardise the chances of prospective candidates seeking admissions into highly competitive courses in the tertiary institutions in Nigeria.
According to him, most of them will be trapped in a web of administrative confusion with nobody or institution to run to if they miss admission in the first year.
He said that the amendment would also breed laziness and poor attitude to reading among prospective UTME candidates.
“Many of them who fail to get admission in the first year but have minimum qualification will relax without reading.
“It will cause confusion because some programmes in some tertiary institutions, especially universities, may lose accreditation within the validity period of the UTME results without the prospective candidates knowing.
“It will deceive many prospective candidates and they will stay at home for three years without admission especially those that scored low but meet the minimum UTME requirements.’’
Ajah said the amendment would lead to multiple certifications as most tertiary institution would demerge a programme which means creating two programmes from existing one within the validity period of the UTME results.
He said that many prospective candidates who did not get admission in the first year but had the minimum score may still apply and rewrite UTME examination the next year.
Ajah said that the development would reduce the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the institution responsible for UTME and as well reduce their effectiveness.
“If the IGR is reduced, the institution may not be able to motivate the staff well and it will result in compromise leading to forgery and all kinds of mutilations,’’ he said.
He expressed worry over the amendment as it would worsen the unemployment situation in the country, adding that many UMTE (JAMB) preparatory centres may close down due to low patronage.
He said that apart from the negative consequence of financial burden it would generate, it would also reduce the number of candidates writing UTME in the country.
Ajah said the government should focus on preventing federal tertiary institutions from running pre-degree programmes but rather allow state and private universities to run them.