…Considers amending Act to limit age writing UTME

Against the backdrop that the general performance of 2021 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination, UTME, was poor due to the use of the wrong syllabus by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, JAMB, the Senate Committee on Basic Education Senate and Secondary Education have expressed satisfaction over the transparent of the conduct of the examination.


The Committee members made this disclosure after the JAMB Registrar, Prof. Ish-aq Oloyede clarified them on the alleged poor performance of the 2021 UTME during their oversight visit to JAMB on Monday.


Vice Chairman of the committee, Senator Akon Eyakenyi, commended board for the smooth conduct of the 2021 UTME, stating that the exercise was free from malpractice as each candidate had different questions to answer, while describing JAMB Registrar, Prof Ishaq Oloyede, as a round peg in a round hole, who knows his job.


Eyakenyi also said the committee will pursue the amendment of the law establishing the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, JAMB, to enable it limit the age of candidates writing the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination, UTME to 16 years and above.


He said the committee had identified two major areas to be addressed in the proposed amendment for the exam body to function better.


“Our own work is that of making laws, to legislate; we have identified two major areas that we need to go into the process of amending the act establishing JAMB. That’s the area of support we will give.


“Other than that, we also intend to pass on what we have seen today to the appropriate MDAs, the Federal Ministry of Education to ensure the support that JAMB needs is given to them.”


The committee noted that candidates should not be admitted into the university below the age of 18 as age has a lot to do with his learning ability.


The senator, who stressed the importance of education to the development and future of Nigeria, said the sector deserves maximum attention as good quality education can only be achieved through funding and commitment of teachers and students.


While describing JAMB as a bridge between the secondary and the university, she said the agency was a necessary vehicle for the delivery of quality and standard education in Nigeria.


“If the products from the secondary schools are not properly catered for to be assessed before turning them into the university definitely you will have a problem,” she said.


The committee however queried why JAMB had almost 100% performance of its 2020 budget and over N500 million devoted to staff welfare apart from their regular salaries.


Responding to the alleged poor performance, Oloyede who spoke earlier said

UTME is not a certification exam; hence, there cannot be an issue of mass failure.  He maintained that the introduction of National Identity Number, NIN helped curb examination malpractice.


“Some people don’t know that in the ranking exam there is no pass or fail. You can’t fail it, you are just ranking them because what qualify candidates for university education is not UTME, what qualifies you is five O level credits so, it is assumed all of them have five O level credits.


He further said that “When we released the last results those who are making noise are the proprietors of schools and tutorial masters because of the money they have collected from the parents and their ability in the past to cut corners and get inflated results for people.


Oloyede explained that the budget of the board was only 75 per cent implemented as the government issued a directive that 25 per cent of funds budgeted should be returned to the federation account.

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