Following the first reading in April last year of a proposal for extension of validity of examination results issued by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Nigerians are eagerly looking forward to the outcome of the second reading at the red chamber.
The Senate had in 2015 directed JAMB to begin to extend the validity of its results to a period of three years.
This was even as it ordered the board to immediately stop its policy of re-assigning candidates to schools they never applied to, saying such policy was contrary to the act establishing the board.
To this end, results obtained from the board by candidates seeking admission into universities are expected to last for three years.
It would be recalled that the Red Chamber order came following a motion entitled, “JAMB’s New Admission Policy,” sponsored by Senator Joshua Lidani, APC, Gombe South, which was debated during plenary.
The Senate had urged JAMB to consult widely with Parents Teachers Associations, Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and all other stakeholders in the education sector with a view to coming out with a friendlier holistic, comprehensive and sustainable admissions policy.
In addition, the Senate directed its Committee on Education to enquire into circumstances surrounding the JAMB policy, including all allegations of favouritism and generally review the power of JAMB and its administration, and submit findings within one week.
Senator Lidani frowned at the JAMB’s policy of posting candidates to schools, including private universities whose fees, he noted, were beyond the means of the candidates’ parents or guardians, saying in some cases, candidate were posted to universities located far away from their places of abode thus placing additional financial burden on their parents.
Lidani expressed worries that although the Federal Ministry of Education had since suspended the implementation of this policy; JAMB was still going ahead with its implementation, thus creating more hardship for parents and uncertainty in the education sector.
He said that he was concerned that the policy runs contrary to the letters and spirit of Section 5(1)(C) iii of the JAMB Act.
Lidani said that the Act requires that JAMB should take into account preferences of the candidates in their choices of schools and the subsequent confusion surrounding the directive that only candidates whose names were forwarded to the university by JAMB were eligible for post-UTME screening.
Others, he said, would have to go back to JAMB website to find out their new institutions.
Just last week, Malam Aminu Aminu, Minister of Education, cancelled the second screening for students seeking admission into tertiary institutions (Post-UTME), saying that the examination was unnecessary.
The announcement has since been generating reactions from stakeholders in the education sector who have argued for and against the move.
Just as parents and guardians of prospective candidates welcomed the decision as a good development, varsity teachers argued that the action of the minister had rubbished genuine reasons for the establishment of the second test as a way of further screening of candidates with poor academic learning into the tertiary education system especially the university system.
If approved, the debate that has enjoyed an overwhelming support on the floor of the Senate meant that candidates with required cut-off marks that failed to secure admission during a given academic session can still keep and use the result for another two admission exercises.