JAMB: MERIT, QUALITY NOT ONLY CRITERIA FOR SELECTION
By Samuel Victor Akpan
The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) says merit and quality are not the only parameters considered when selecting students into tertiary institutions in the country. Head of Media and Publicity of the board Dr. Fabian Benjamin made this known on 99.3 Nigeria Info’s programme, Hard Facts.
“Quality is not a function of what we do,” Benjamin said. “Our admission is not purely on merit alone.”
“We have merit, we have catchment, and we have an educationally less developed state,” he explained.
The JAMB media chief told presenters Sandra Ezekwesili and Aghogho Oboh that the body is a “selection examination board” and not a determinant for quality. According to him, “the candidates would have gone through and nurtured in secondary school with all the qualities you are talking about.”
“Quality is not a function of what we do,” he said. “Quality is a function of a lot of things which we are not in position to do.”
When pressed further, the JAMB media chief queried: “Is quality all about writing and passing examinations? Quality is not a function of just writing and passing examinations.”
“We in the educational sector do not look at score as definition of quality. There are other parameters that we add up to make up quality.”
The JAMB spokesperson, however, was quick to add that the uproar amongst Nigerians over the cut off mark of 160 is a little misplaced. According to Dr. Benjamin, “the fact that you scored 160 doesn’t mean you are university-bound.”
“Let me make this clear: there are 70 percent of institutions that wouldn’t even admit any candidate with 160. The university will conduct their post UTME which will be added to the 160 - that is for institutions that will take 160.
“There are institutions that with 160, you can’t even look at their gate” he added.
According to the JAMB Head of Media, the examination body “is set up to conduct admission into tertiary institutions” and it has “chosen the only way we feel we can do this is conducting a selection examination.”
“If today we find a better way of selecting these candidates, I don’t think we will even do this examination,” he said.