The Registrar, Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Prof Ishaq Oloyede has revealed that students were being admitted into tertiary institutions in the country with as low as ‘zero mark’ when he took over the body.
Speaking during a multi-stakeholders’ consultation meeting at the Yaba College of Technology, Lagos State, Oloyede said over the years, when the national cut off was 200, 180 or other marks students were admitted with as low as zero.
“When I got to JAMB, I realised that the cut off mark was just a paper tiger. People were being admitted with as low as zero; it depends on who and how. A window of opportunity called regularisation had become a process of anything goes.
“Candidates who did not take JAMB at all and those who did not obtain the form would find themselves in universities and in first class programmes. And all they had to do was to pay N5,000 at the point of graduation, and the abnormality would then be said to have been regularised. That is their level of abuse,” he said.
Oloyede added that as soon as he took over JAMB, he made it known that it cannot be business as usual hence he requested for the minimum score of all the tertiary institutions in Nigeria.
“We had no intention to impose score on the institutions but we nudged them to declare on their own what is admissible to them. We disclosed that we will ensure none of them will admit below what they themselves have set. So in reality there is nothing called national cut-off this year, it is the cut-off as determined by each of the institutions.
“If an institution says my cut-off is 240 that institution cannot admit 239; if an institution says my cut-off is 120, that institution cannot admit 119. It does not mean that that institution must take anybody with 120, no, the institution is prepared to go down to as low as 120 if there are no other scorers of higher grades.”
According to him, any institution that has candidates with 180 and 190 cannot dump such people for those who scored 120.
Speaking further, Oloyede said, “The minimum cut-off this year is not just one per institution, but there is institutional and programme cut-off. ”
Oloyede added that institutions are free to grade the quality of the O/Level or A/Level and conduct their own post-UTME screening but he warned against the neglect of UTME score by anyone.
“The UTME score under all circumstances would carry a weight of not less than 50 per cent of the assessment. So that is what is happening; multi-track assessments of candidates to be placed.”