By Olanrewaju Bello and Mariam Faruq
Mixed reactions have continued to trail the announcement of cut off marks by the Joint Admissions Matriculation Board (JAMB) for students seeking admission into various universities and other tertiary institutions across the country.
Recall that during a recent meeting between JAMB and management of higher institutions in the country, the cut off marks for admission for candidates who sat for the 2017 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME), was pegged at 100 for the polytechnics, monotechnics and college of educations and 120 for universities.
Also, at the meeting, it was agreed that post-JAMB be reintroduced by various institutions for proper assessment of applicants.
Speaking with some applicants in Ilorin at the weekend, some of them expressed optimism that they will not have to wait for another year to gain admission while others are worried that those with low grades may be ignored.
“I feel it is good because it gives those applicants with low marks the opportunity to press forward in pursuing admission into the institutions of their choice,” said 21-year-old Hannah Owolabi.
According to her, she sat for JAMB thrice and scored 240 in the most recent exercise with University of Ilorin her preferred choice.
Also, 21-year-old Julius Oyedele, who also wrote JAMB thrice, said the 120 cut off mark is an added advantage for candidates with lesser scores.
On the re-approval of post-UTME, Oyewole Oluwatobi, a 16-year-old applicant of the University of Ilorin said, “It is a positive development that will give those with lesser scores another opportunity to excel.”
In the same vein, Ibrahim Abdulwasiu who scored 182 stated that he has high expectations of gaining admission into the Bayero University, Kano or the University of Ilorin – his first and second choice respectively.
For Alimat Wahab, she is excited by the prospect of becoming an undergraduate of Kwara State University, Malete despite scoring 115 just as Adebola Davids said with his 202 score, he is guaranteed of admission into Federal University Of Technology, Akure (FUTA).
In his response, another University of Ilorin applicant, Mayowa Yusuf said after scoring 210, he is confident the re-introduction of post-UTME will not deny him admission in the coming academic session.
“Let them bring the post-UTME on, having come this far, I can confidently say, I am more than prepared,” he stated.
…JAMB issues strong warning to candidates
The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has warned candidates that the 120 cut-off mark, does not guarantee automatic admission into higher institutions.
JAMB, through its official Twitter account stated that “The 120 cut off mark doesn’t mean an automatic ticket for admission. Institutions will still admit using established criteria of merit and others.
“Candidates with higher marks will be considered first,” the statement read.
Meanwhile, JAMB also announced that the admission processes for 2017/2018 will start on September 15, 2017 and close on January 31, 2018. The exam body also added that the direct entry applications for admission would close on September 15.
The Head of JAMB Information and Media, Dr Fabian Benjamin, explained that students could only secure admission after they might have passed through the rudiments of admission processes.
Benjamin explained the admission process saying: “We have come up with the Central Admission Processing System (CAPS) this year. “This entails that once candidates are admitted and the institution approves, then JAMB will approve. The information about the candidates will be keyed into CAPS automatically. “Candidates can monitor their admission process through CAPS online and those who want to get admission letter can do so by printing such online.”
According to him, CAPS will make record gathering easy and give easy access to students to print their admission letters, among other things.
It would be recalled that JAMB stated that the decision to reduce the cut-off marks for admission into tertiary institutions was done by stakeholders in the education sector.
The examination body had been criticised for the new cut of mark it released for the 2017/2018 academic session but it revealed that this was done to make the process more flexible. Prof. Ishaq Oloyede who is the Registrar of JAMB said the board’s recommendation was to only provide the institutions with a benchmark and that universities could raise their cut off marks above 120 but not more than 180.