Re: JAMB and the challenge to lift tertiary education
Sir: The editorial on the newspaper July 18, 2023 makes an engaging piece. However, there are some things that l oppose which are the fact that money being generated by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) is not being used, at least directly on universities and polytechnics, but rather paid into Federal Government consolidated revenue fund (CRF) which ends up being spread among all tiers of government nationwide.
The government allocates some of the money gotten from JAMB to education, they use the money to fund educational programmes and improve educational infrastructure. The money generated also goes towards providing scholarship for students. The JAMB uses money generated to regulate admission into tertiary institutions to ensure that only qualified candidates are admitted. It is being used to create and provide accessible platform for students on information about their course and institutions and to make informed decision about their future. The reduction of incidence of malpractice and the quality of the examination such as, the use of biometrics verification and CCTV cameras to monitor exam centres is successful because of the money. Let us not forget also the workers will be paid; we have 600 JAMB approved centres that are operating.
Secondly, I partially agree with the opinion that if JAMB could remit so much from what parents and sponsors pay to enlist candidates for the test, it is possible to further reduce the charge particularly now that the citizens are passing through excruciating economic times. It is true that the economy of the country is very bad but we should also note that the money is used to cover the cost of administering the exam and maintaining the infrastructure needed to conduct the examination. It is right to suggest that JAMB should explore ways to reduce the cost of the exams, especially in the light of the current economic climate. If the charge can be reduced, they should also increase the number of students writing the exam.
Finally, on education experts having canvassed the possibility of extending the validity period so that candidates who are unable to secure admission with the result in the year of insurance can try again for another year or two. Extending the validity period of JAMB results could be beneficial for candidates who are unable to secure admission in the year of their examination. We should also consider the impact on the admission process and the capacity of tertiary institutions to accommodate more students. Let’s not forget that universities are allowed to admit students depending on the accreditation status of the university and available resources such as, infrastructure and faculty. The National Universities Commission (NUC) gives universities a certain number of students to admit in the school depending on their accreditation status. If this validity period is to be extended, the NUC will have to increase the number of students to be admitted in every university. It is also important to note that the quality of the exams is not compromised and that the result remains valid and reliable. The result can be tampered with if this extension of result validity is approved.
Orebanjo Olamide Olayinka is a Mass Communication student, Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), Ogun State.
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