Nigerians have expressed mixed reactions on the ongoing amendment of the JAMB Act for the elongation of its UTME results validity to three years.
While some of the stakeholders, educationists and parents, were in support of the elongation of the validity, other were against the amendment.
The bill for the amendment of the Act establishing JAMB last week passed the second reading in the Senate.
The amendment to the Act is seeking to validate JAMB UTME’s results for admission into any tertiary institution in Nigeria for three consecutive years.
Mr Lekan Shote, a parent, supported the amendment to allow candidates to use the result to seek admission for three consecutive years.
Shote, who is the Chairman of the Publica Nigeria Ltd, Lagos, told NAN that the proposed amendment “is a welcome development’’.
He said that the number of students that apply for admission every year were far more than the number of vacancies in all the tertiary institutions.
“As far as I am concern, with your school certificate, you are qualified.
“If they want to make it three years, I think it is a good development.
“It is in the interest of the students if a review the Act that established the JAMB is conducted.
“It will help parents to save money, reduce the stress and anxiety of students who have to read every year for the examination.
“The cost of JAMB form is very expensive and some parents cannot afford it.
“May be JAMB will lose some revenue, but I think it makes sense. I absolutely support it,’’ he told NAN.
Shote said that in the U.S., tertiary institutions also change their cut-off points at will and did not place restriction on validity of examination results used by students.
“If you write TOEFL, GMAT, IELTS and GRA examinations the same examination can be used for a long period depending on the university that you are applying for.
“They change year after year and it is your luck if it gets higher or lower,’’ he said.
But Prof. Ukachukwu Awuzie, the immediate past President, Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), said that the Senate’s amendment of the Act establishing the UTME was borne out of selfish reasons.
Awuzie, who is also a one-time Vice-Chancellor of the Imo State University, told NAN that there was nothing wrong with JAMB’s Act and should be allowed to stay as it is.
In her opinion, Prof. Chinwe Obaji, former Minister of Education, called on Senators not to be hasty in amending the Act.
Obaji said that there was the need for the Senators to take a deep reflection on the plan, look at all the facts properly before taking any major decision.
“I think the Senate members have some reasons for attempting to amend the Act.
“But they should be more careful, get their facts rights and not be in a haste to take decision on this.
“I think what majorly should be of concern to the Senate is ensuring that all candidates, seeking to write the UTME must possess the minimum five credits in WASSCE, including English and Mathematics.
“A situation whereby candidates write and obtain UTME results while awaiting WASSCE results is worrisome and should be looked into.
“In some cases when the result comes out, the candidate may not have the requisite qualification to have sat for the UTME,’’ Obaji said