The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has defended the pegging of 120 as minimum cut-off marks for university admission.
The decision, which was reached at a stakeholders’ policy meeting in Abuja, has generated controversy with many universities rejecting the marks.
JAMB’s Head of Information Dr. Fabian Benjamin, in a statement yesterday in Abuja, said the board would not be deterred and would continue to support policies that would bring Nigeria’s education out of the woods.
He explained that previous cut off marks were never strictly followed by most institutions.
Dr. Benjamin said most universities failed to fill their admission quota in the last 10 years.
The statement reads: “The much trending controversy over the just released cut off marks for 2017 admission exercise by stakeholders at the policy meeting is quite unnecessary.
“All Heads of tertiary institutions were requested to submit their cut off benchmark to the board which will then be used for the admission. And these benchmarks once determined cannot be changed in the middle of admission exercise.
“Again, it is necessary to explain that the 120 mark does not in any way suggest that once you have 120 then admission is sure for you. Institutions will admit from the top to the least mark.
“We are now starting the actually monitoring of adherence to admissions guide lines, cut off marks inclusive. The cut off marks being branded by the public as previous cut off marks were never strictly followed by most institutions.
“The board will equally ensure that it correct all anomalies existing, especially as regards the powers of institutions to make pronouncements on admissions and other related matters affecting the institutions.”
According to him, institutions in the past went behind to admit candidates with less cut-off marks, while also accusing some institutions of admitting candidates without JAMB results.
“Institutions were going behind to admit candidates with far less with others admitting candidates who never sat for JAMB. This act to say the least is very distasteful and damaging to our national data and identity.
“Unfortunately, the public has been kept away from this fact for such a long time and now that we are saying it the way it is and working to address it, the public is criticising us using non existing parameters that were only announced and not followed.
“In years past, admissions were done with worst cut off marks. We are determined and ready to correct all these with the 2017 exercise. The Board has designed a Central Admissions Processing System (CAPS) to check back door admission and other unwholesome practices associated with admission.
“We are sure that the system will bring out the good in us as it will also make provision for candidates to track their admission. This empowers them to raise queries if a candidate they have better scores and other prerequisites are admitted which CAPS will not allow anyway. This is the inclusiveness and transparency that education needs,” he added.