Chris Steven , Abuja
Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu has said that the conduct of Post Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination, ( Post-UTME) by tertiary institutions for admission into universities and other higher institutions of learning in the country remains banned.
The Minister while directing the National Universities Commission (NUC) and appropriate departments in the Ministry to communicate the directive to relevant agencies and institutions to ensure strict compliance noted that ban is with immediate effect.
He warned that under no circumstance should any institution violate the directive
Malam Adamu who gave the directive on Monday in Abuja while speaking to journalists, explained that although he had made this known earlier, the emphasis has become necessary in order to ensure that no stakeholder is left in doubt as to Government’s position on the matter.
He said those who have already advertised for the conduct of the Post-UTME under any guise should stop the exercise immediately as any university caught conducting Post-UTME will face appropriate sanctions.
“If any tertiary Institution has already conducted Post-UTME, such an exercise stands annulled and money taken from such candidates must be refunded immediately,” the Minister added.
Affirming his position on the ban on Post-UTME, the Minister said the responsibility for admission into public tertiary institutions lies solely with the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) and under no circumstance whatsoever should anybody or institution take over that responsibility by proxy.
His words :” For the avoidance of doubt, any educational institution after secondary education is regarded as a tertiary institution. Therefore all tertiary institutions, Polytechnics, Colleges of Education, Universities or by whatever name it is called after secondary education must be subjected to admission through the JAMB.
At the end of probationary admission by JAMB, the candidates can be cleared (screened) for final admission. For any institution with a shortfall in admission, such institution can revert to JAMB for supplementary admission. Clearing in this case (screening) entails only the verification of certificates of the candidates, JAMB scores, and any other physical examination to ensure that such candidates are not cultists.
After this, the candidates are qualified for matriculation. Such screening should be at no cost to the parents or students and should be done upon resumption in order to avoid unnecessary travels in search of admission”.
Malam Adamu decried the situation where final year students in secondary schools are subjected to too many examinations all in one year, describing it as traumatic, exploitative and absolutely unnecessary.
According to him, mere admission into the university does not guarantee any student the award of a degree until such a student successfully goes through a minimum of eight examinations for 4-year courses or ten and twelve examinations for 5 and 6 year courses, among other requirements.
The Minister wondered why any university would not be satisfied with examining a student for eight, ten or twelve times for the award of a degree, but would rather sort to conducting entry examinations, adding that the Universities are at liberty to expel any student who fails to meet up with the requirements of the award of any degree enrolled for.
He also said that there has been no empirical evidence to show that since the inception of Post-UTME, Universities have been having better quality students, adding that students are still being expelled on a yearly basis for low performance even as they gained admission through Post-UTME.
Malam Adamu said he was deeply concerned about the plight of parents and guardians who spend fortunes on transportation, hotel accommodation, examination fees and sundry costs, just for their wards to gain admission into Universities, adding that such practice negates the Buhari Administration’s resolve to make education affordable for Nigerians.
The Minister said he is also mindful of reported cases where some staff of tertiary institutions take undue advantage of the girl-child in her quest to gain admission into the system.
This was as he also acknowledged that in some cases, parents die in the process of travelling to secure admission for their wards, and never live to see those children through, a situation he described as painful and avoidable.