THE Senate yesterday laid to rest the controversy trailing conduct of Post-Universities and other Tertiary Matriculation Examination (Post-UTME) test by endorsing the exercise. This followed the adoption of the recommendations of the Committee on Education.
Consequent upon the controversy, the Upper Chamber mandated the committee headed by Senator Uche Chukwumerije to conduct a public hearing on the matter.
Presenting the report to the Senate for consideration, Chukwumerije said the “Post-UTME is not illegal.” He added; “No stakeholder during the public hearing challenged its legality. Rather, some (especially JAMB) queried the propriety and legality of the written part of Post-UTME’s screening exercise”. He stressed that the Post-UTME is “both legal and legitimate” because the Act establishing the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board [JAMB] recognises it.”
The failure of JAMB to conduct a fair exercise is “already self-evident in the circumstances which gave birth to Post-UTME and the unanimous supports which it enjoys among university authorities,’’ the panel said.
Among other recommendations of the committee which were approved by the Senate were that:
• the NBTE (National Board for Technical Examinations) and NCCE (National Commission for Colleges of Education) should carry out similar exercise for Polytechnics and Colleges of Education;
• the exercise of this function by any other organ outside the tertiary institutions violates the essence of representation; and
• the examinations-for-admission fee to tertiary institutions should be unified and a one-stop (but composite) charge made.
The Senate panel also recommended “a gross charge of N6, 000 per candidate – N4000 to JAMB and N2, 000 to a university. State and private universities should be persuaded to accept the proposal for N6, 000 admission ceiling. Disregard of the ceiling on a composite examination charge should attract reprimand, suspension or termination of appointment of an erring head of tertiary institution.”
The chamber posited that “ JAMB ably performs her other equally crucial functions of equitable placement of candidates from all parts of Nigeria and evenly in all the Universities of the Federation’’ adding that “we therefore do not see the institution as a failure.”
It was also agreed that “there should be immediate ban on ‘Miracle Centres’ or what in market-place language are called ‘JAMB Special Centres’. The day of sitting of JAMB should be transferred from Saturday or any weekend to a week day – Monday or Tuesday, because it is found that Saturday offers free rein to impersonators who are mainly recruited from the ranks of public and private sector workers who should be busy in their offices on week-days.”