The House of Representatives has threatened to push for the scrap of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB)
It also mandated its Committee on Tertiary Education and Services to investigate the circumstances surrounding the reduction of JAMB cut-off mark.
This followed a motion by Rep Hassan Saleh (Benue-APC) on the “Need to Investigate the Reduction in the Cut-off Marks for Admissions into Tertiary Institutions in Nigeria’’ at plenary on Tuesday.
Saleh expressed concern that the new policy was bound to lower the standard and quality of education from the tertiary institutions.
According to him, many candidates who perform poorly in Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) can secure admission through nepotism, bribery and corruption while many other candidates who perform excellently can be denied admission.
Saleh said that in spite of the fact that more than 500,000 candidates scored above 200 marks, representing 50 percent of the total mark, Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) reduced cut-off mark to 120.
He said that the cut-off mark represented only 30 percent of the total examination mark of 400, adding that 100 marks fixed for Polytechnics and Colleges of Education was 25 percent of the total mark.
On their parts, Reps. Henry Archibong, Rita Orji and Abubakar Chika called for the scraping of JAMB and the UTME.
They stated that lowering cut-off marks for admission into tertiary institutions was a signal that the Board had outlived its usefulness.
The lawmakers also accused JAMB of buckling under pressure from privately owned universities, many of whom were seeking to increase the number of yearly admissions into their schools.
Rep. Abubakar Chika (Niger-APC), a former lecturer at the Polytechnic, said it was highly disappointing that JAMB could succumb to pressure from private institutions, which he alleged had long pushed for cut-off marks to be lowered.
“Let me even open up, this decision was taken because of private universities. They usually need to admit the children of the rich, who are not ready to work hard,’’ he said.
Rep. Afe Oluwookere (Ondo-APC) described the new policy as “highly detrimental’’ to the country’s push for economic growth and development.