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Sunday, August 27, 2017

JAMB Admission saga: A need for clarity

Some of us who were physically present at the JAMB Policy meeting owe it a duty to clarify issues and right some wrongs in the reportage of the meeting.

It is a pity that the personality and position of the incumbent Registrar, Prof Oloyede, is being unfairly vilified when he should be commended. These are the facts as observed and as stated to us at the meeting.

1) JAMB was established at the instance of 13 Vice Chancellors some decades ago to stream-line the process of admission and eliminate the duplication of entrance examinations to universities.

2)JAMB, by the edict establishing it, is supposed to confine itself to the conduct of examinations and release of results to the universities.

3) The Senate of each university is then expected to decide on the admission criteria and CUT OFF MARKS. Please note that the Senate of the university is the highest body empowered to make policies /pronouncements on academic matters. They award the degrees.

4) Over the years however, JAMB, had exceeded it's mandate and sought to take over the roles of the university Senate. It came to a head last year when JAMB forwarded the lists of students admitted to each university. Of course this was strongly resisted by most Vice-Chancellors, including yours sincerely.

Last time I checked, Tai Solarin University of Education (TASUED) is fully owned by the Government and people of Ogun State, and no parastatal in Abuja, will be permitted to act as if it owns/operates TASUED. This is the background of what brought in Prof Oloyede as the new Registrar .

5) Since he came on board,  he has tried to address the issues and correct anomalies observed. It was in the process of doing this that certain decisions were taken.

  a) the power to 'fully own' the admission process was transferred back to the Senate of each university, where it rightly belongs.  Each university now has some freedom to decide it's cut-off point, with a proviso that none should go below 120, which was the lowest submission . Most universities are sticking to 170-200 cut-off mark.

b) all admission processes should be placed on the table of public scrutiny and there should be no 'under the table' admission which is then covered later by regularisation through JAMB. The Registrar said he was shocked by the huge number of students who had not taken the JAMB exam and we're surreptitiously admitted by some universities. He said this has to stop from this session.

6) Prof Oloyede has computerised the admission process to make it more inclusive, open and interactive.  Applicants now have the opportunity to track their admission status and accept /reject courses offered whilst being considered by other universities who now have access to data of ALL applicants.

7) Prof Oloyede has shown uncommon courage in exposing and addressing the anomalies of the past. Please remember that he also returned over 5 billion Naira to the coffers of the Federal Government,  an amount which the Minister of Education said was higher than the sum total amount paid by JAMB since its establishment.

I believe the criticism of Prof Oloyede is unfair and could dampen his enthusiasm for the job. He should be commended not condemned.

Please note that I am not Prof Oloyede's spokesperson neither does he know of this submission. But I was at the meeting and I felt a need to clarify issues.

All it takes for evil to thrive is for good people to keep silent.

*Contributed by Professor Oluyemisi Obilade is the Vice-Chancellor of the Tai Solarin University of Education.


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