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In an interview with Prof. Oloyede on the reason and meaning why the board agreed to adopt what it called ‘flexible cut off marks’ for candidates looking for admission in different institutions below is the reply we got.
What that means is that we want to expand access of qualified persons and as I said, what makes candidates qualified for admission is their O’ Level and A’ Level exam results as the case may be. The exam conducted by JAMB is just to screen and bring some order on how many candidates will get admissions because we can’t admit all of them.
If that is the case, we are removing obstacles in access, for example people want to go to colleges of education to obtain NCE which is not a degree programme or they want to go to polytechnics for a two-year Ordinary National Diploma (OND) and then you insist on the same condition for those who want to do degree programmes, that is unfair. Even when they graduate, they won’t be on the same salary; OND is level 6, NCE is level 7 and degree is minimum of level 8, so, why are you giving them the same condition?
What we have done is to make it flexible for a college of education, a university and a polytechnic to say ‘look, considering the number of candidates that applied, I am prepared to take 130 or 140 marks and above’. And when you look at that, it will be across board rather than having vacant classrooms. They must have taken all those that are qualified. And if there are still vacancies, you say, go down below the cut off mark for those who have the requisite O’ Level or A’ level, but the only problem is that they did not score the required cut off marks instead of leaving the classrooms empty or for the candidates to be roaming the streets and becoming social problems.
We will be helping the country if we allow such qualified candidates to get admissions. In any case, if you look at it critically, if they are not allowed to go to the university, it is because of the poverty of their parents not the poverty of their brain. If their parents had money, they could send them to Ghana and in Ghana, they will not ask them for UTME results, they will ask for only their O’level result. Those who had more money can send their children to the UK and they will only ask for their O’level results.