The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has explained why it pegged cut-off marks to 120, which has been greeted by widespread condemnation.
It said the cut-off marks for admission into tertiary institutions were reduced to encourage as many Nigerians as possible to school at home.
JAMB said rather than have a situation where Nigerians enrol in “mushroom universities” and “glorified secondary schools” in Ghana, Uganda and Gambia, the board decided to take the heavily-criticised course of action.
The examination body said “tertiary institutions hardly fill their available spaces”, and that the need to go abroad is not caused by a “shortage of spaces or standards” but “partly” due to unrealistic benchmarks.
According to JAMB, the worst admitted cut-off mark in a Nigerian institution is “far better than allowing them to fly out to some of the institutions they are attending”.
JAMB reiterated that the decision was collectively made by vice chancellors of tertiary institutions, and as such, none can reject it.
“Today, it is a known fact that millions of Nigerians are out there schooling in mushroom institutions and they will at the end come back with all kinds of degrees and certificates that we cannot explain their content,” said a statement released by JAMB’s spokesperson, Fabian Benjamin.
“Our Naira is continually devalued as a result of so many reasons, including the pressure to pay these school fees.
“It’s also a known fact that for you to study a course say Hausa in Nigerian universities, you will need a credit in Mathematics; however when you go outside like London, all you will need is a credit in Hausa and English, no Mathematics. Such and so many other poorly thought out policies have pushed our frustrated candidates out of Nigeria to develop neighbouring African nations for education they could not get at home.
“The question we all should be concerned about is how to address the flight of Nigerians to glorified secondary schools called Universities in Ghana, Uganda and even Gambia and others. How do we ensure that whatever we do has positive multiplier effects on other sectors of the economy? If we deny our candidates the opportunity to school in Nigeria, they will find their way out and in doing that deplete our economic base.
“To provide answers to all these challenges, stakeholders decided that institutions should be allowed to determine their cut-off marks according to their peculiarities and the quality and standards they want to be known for.
“Besides, events have shown that many institutions do not comply with cut-off marks in the past; hence the flood of requests for regularisation. Now, the new management has resolved to stop it and ensure full compliance with resolutions on cut off-marks.
“JAMB will equally ensure that it correct all anomalies existing especially as regards the powers of institutions to make pronouncements on admissions and other related matters affecting the institutions.
“It is also very misleading to say that Vice-Chancellors reject the cut-off mark. This may be the editors’ power of caption, you can only reject an offer and not when the power to determine such privilege lays squarely on your hands.”