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Reps consider bill to extend validity of JAMB results to four years

  A bill seeking to extend the validity of the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) results to four years has passed second rea...

 


A bill seeking to extend the validity of the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) results to four years has passed second reading at the house of representatives.

 

The proposed legislation seeks to amend some sections, including 5(1a) and 5(2) of the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) Act 2021.

 

The bill is sponsored by Tolulope Shadipe, a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) from Oyo state.

 

Currently, the UTME result is valid for one year and applicants seeking to gain admission into the nation’s tertiary institutions are required to pass the examination in line with the cut-off marks set by JAMB.

 

But if the bill is passed by the national assembly, and it is approved by President Muhammadu Buhari, the UTME results will be valid for four years.

 

Leading the debate on the bill during plenary on Thursday, Shadipe said the current validity period of UTME results is unrealistic in the present economy, as parents struggle to pay for the JAMB fee for their wards every year.

 

“When you look at the number of students that applies for university every year and the number that gets in, it is definitely not their fault. So, why should they be penalised? Everywhere in the world, no such exams are valid for one year; scholastic aptitude test (SAT) is valid forever,” she said.

 

 “Most universities across the world, value such exams for at least five years. But here in Nigeria, JAMB is valid for one entry and if you do not get it, you repeat it.

 

“I think this is totally unfair. There are a lot of children in this country whose parents are struggling to put them through school. These children go through education, pass this exam and then the following year, for no reason, they are made to repeat the exams.

 

“If we continue this way, it likens it to a society where human beings are sacrificed for money. Why should our children be sacrificed on the altar of revenue generation?”

 

In his contribution to the motion, Nkem Abonta from Abia, opposed the amendment sought by the bill, saying increasing the validity period of UTME results will defeat the objective of JAMB.

 

According to him, the extension may create a “crisis” in the tertiary institution admission process, rather than the solution it intends to provide.

 

Toby Okechukwu, deputy minority leader, said while the bill has good intentions, it should be scrutinised at the committee’s consideration, so that the “mischief” it seeks to “cure doesn’t lead to a situation where we create another mischief”.

 

“The sponsor has discussed the economics of it. What she’s saying is that our children and the parents who fund their education have not just been suffering double jeopardy, but have been suffering several jeopardies,” he said.

 

After the back-and-forth debate, the bill was unanimously voted for when it was put to a voice vote by Idris Wase, the deputy speaker of the house.

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