Wednesday, 17th August 2022
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Low UTME cut-off marks by JAMB worry South South varsities’ lectures

University lecturers in the South-South region have expressed mixed feelings on the recent lowering of Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) cut-off marks for admission into tertiary

Students in an examination hall. Photo:

University lecturers in the South-South region have expressed mixed feelings on the recent lowering of Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) cut-off marks for admission into tertiary institutions in Nigeria by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB).

While the majority of them described the new JAMB decision as counter-productive and dangerous, others saw it as a welcome development and inclusive.

In a survey conducted by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in the zone, some said that if JAMB continued on the trajectory of lowering the cut-off marks, the country’s standard of education would continue to be eroded.

Prof. Monday Omoregie of the University of Benin (UNIBEN) described the lowering of the cut-off marks for university admission to 140 as ridiculous and a signal of a decline in the quality of education in the country.

He said that reducing the minimum score from 200 to 180 and now to 140 was counter-productive and never a welcome development.

He said no society grew beyond its level of education and that the reduction was an indication that the system was going down.

For Prof. Monday Igbafen of the Ambrose Alli University (AAU), Ekpoma, universities should be allowed to set their own cut-off marks without JAMB usurping the functions of the university Senate.

The former chairman of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) in AAU said: “I think we are going to that side now that JAMB cannot insist on what should be the cut-off marks for various universities.

“It should allow universities not even through the UTME, but their own internal examinations to admit qualified students into their systems.”

On his part, a senior lecturer at the University of Calabar (UNICAL), Dr. Paul Bukie, also said that reducing UTME cut-off marks would continue to lower the academic standard in the country.

Bukie, who spoke in Calabar, said that the reduction was capable of producing more unserious and unprepared candidates seeking admission.

But, another lecturer in the same institution, Mr. Jerry Etta, said that the reduction was in order and was based on the low performance of candidates in the last UTME.

Dr. Williams Wodi of the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT) urged JAMB to reverse the 140 cut-off marks for universities.

He said that education should not be run on the principle of promoting national cohesion.