The Registrar/Chief Executive of the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Professor Dibu Ojerinde, has reacted to the protest at the University of Lagos by parents and candidates who could not access the university’s admission.
According to him, the policy introduced by JAMB, for which he has been criticised, “is actually meant to help the candidates not only to get admission but to get it on time.”
Ojerinde explained that the decision to reallocate candidates who cannot be admitted into their choice institutions because of the high cut-off marks set by the institutions for the various courses, to other federal, states and private institutions in that order, depending on the availability of spaces; choice of the course of the candidate; geographical zone of the candidates’ first choice and the performance of the candidates, was to help the candidates and reduce the numbers of qualified candidates who miss out on admissions yearly due to limited spaces.
He noted that JAMB had made the situation clear to the institutions during its policy meeting on 14th July, after it held discussions with the representatives of the federal, state and private universities where the degree of the problems of candidates were presented and solutions were proffered.
“By this approach, wastage of high scores will be reduced, the fate of the candidates will be determined on time and yet the interest of their areas of study may be satisfied,” Ojerinde stated.
He explained that the decision became imperative because “the big universities are overloaded” while others have spaces that are not filled.
“Can you imagine 8,000 students seeking admission to study law in a university that will take only 250 candidates for law? The remaining 7,750 candidates will wait endlessly and hopelessly till the end of the admission. Or imagine 7,500 candidates seeking admission to study medicine in a university. Of these 7,500 candidates, 2,000 scored above 250 in the UTME. The university has a carrying capacity of only 150 candidates for medicine. The remaining 7,350 who scored above 200 will be wasted. Particularly, 1,750 candidates who scored above 250 will be wasted while other universities either do not have enough candidates or high scoring candidates,” Professor Ojerinde further explained.
He added that JAMB had discovered that courses like Biological Sciences, Pharmacy, Agricultural Engineering and related courses are, in most cases, without enough candidates in the universities while everyone scampered to study medicine and only a small percentage eventually get admitted.
“We are saying; let’s give them a feel of chance somewhere else that has not gotten enough candidates for law or medicine by sending the names of these high scorers to “needy” universities. In addition, the concept of selection by merit, catchment area and educationally less developed states will be adequately catered for.
“However, I am not saying that everyone will get admission or even get their original choice of course of study. But it is better than wasting the time, finances, and good scores of these candidates. We need to fill the available spaces as given to us by the regulatory bodies such as the National Universities Commission (NUC); National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) and the National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE).
” But if a candidate does not want the given opportunity, he can decline the offer and just refuse to take any step,” the JAMB Registrar stated.
Ojerinde indicted some so-called educational consultants who have hidden agenda, which are being thwarted by JAMB’s proactive steps, as being behind the protests, warning that: “This is a period of CHANGE. If they do not CHANGE they will be CHANGED.”