By Olanrewaju Akojede
Prof. Olurotimi Ajayi, the Vice-Chancellor, Crawford University, Igbesa, Ogun, on Tuesday called on the Federal Government to review its cancellation of the Post-Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examinations (post-UTME).
Ajayi told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the cancellation of the Post-UTME and its subsequent replacement with screening might not help the university system.
The Federal Government had on June 1, scrapped the Post-UTME for candidates seeking admission into higher institutions.
The Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, said that there was no need for another examination to be conducted by universities after the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) examinations.
“The whole idea of the Post-UTME examinations is not about money generation but about standards.
“Over time, the examinations have shown that intending students that claimed JAMB marks cannot defend those marks, which is not the fault of JAMB.
“Some of the students that had high JAMB scores cannot even pass a simple test conducted by the universities.
“The test is for the students to prove their ability, to repeat their feat at the JAMB examinations,’’ Ajayi said.
He said it was in the interest of institutions, students as well as the nation for the Federal Government to reverse its stance on the post-UTME.
The vice-chancellor added that the Post-UTME should be seen as a type of quality assurance on the part of universities.
Ajayi said the decision of the Federal Government to fix a price ceiling for the Post-UTME screening on behalf of all universities was high-handed.
According to him, the government’s price ceiling will have a ripple effect on private universities.
The vice-chancellor said that only universities funded by the government could sustain that ceiling.
“The government coming out to fix the price of our Post-UTME at just N2,500 seems high-handed because private universities are not receiving subventions from the government.
“Some of the parents sending their children to the private universities already know they will have to pay more than what is obtainable in the public universities.
“It is unseemly for universities to be controlled by the government, they are supposed to be governed and regulated by their councils.
“Although we will comply with the directive, but we are not very satisfied with it as it seems like a burden.’’
Ajayi said that the Committee of Vice-Chancellors were already looking at various ways to help the government realise the implications of its decisions on the nation’s university system.
He said the committee would soon make its stand on the plight of universities’ public.