The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) on Monday protested against the decision of the Federal Government to scrap the Post-UTME, warning that the scrapping “portends serious danger for the quality of education in Nigeria”.
ASUU President, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, said this at a news briefing convened by the union on issues affecting the Nigerian universities.
According to him, “the argument of the federal government on the policy is unacceptable and potentially harmful to the future of Nigerian’s education system. We call on the government to rescind its decision and convene a genuine stakeholders ‘ meeting on the issue before making any policy statement.”
Ogunyemi who faulted the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, stated that “Such statement coming from the Minister was unfortunate because JAMB should not be saddled with the responsibility of solely conducting entrance examinations into the nation’s tertiary institutions.
He said: “We call the attention of the Honourable Minister of Education to the fact that Post-UTME is a child of necessity and rationality and a decision that Nigerian Universities had to take when the credibility and integrity of JAMB examinations and results became questionable.
“When universities were admitting solely on the basis of JAMB scores unimaginable discrepancies were observed in the JAMB scores of candidates and their performance in the first year in the University.
“Consider a candidate who got a JAMB score of 290 out of a maximum of 400, yet had to withdraw from the University at the end of the first year on account of very poor performance. It is important to note that this happened not in isolated cases. Virtually all universities reported such cases.
“The University of Ibadan conducted a study on the correlation between JAMB scores and performance at the University and reported a negative correlation between the two. The results were published in the Ibadan Journal of the Social Sciences. The introduction of Post -UTME was based on sound empirical evidence.”
According to him, the universities began charging fees for the conduct of the Post -UTME due to poor funding by the government. Adding that the screening was a quality assurance test which the Federal Government and all Nigerians who care about educational standards should applaud and not condemn.
“The Post-UTME has its problems which we believe can be addressed. To curtail exploitation of parents and candidates, the government can improve funding to universities and other tertiary institutions”, ASUU president stressed.