THE Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has clarified its stand on remedial programmes being run by some Universities. JAMB Registrar, Prof Dibu Ojerinde has been quoted by several newspapers as having announced that the board was cancelling remedial programmes in the affected universities.
But the board’s Information Officer, Chinwe Ogbuka in a letter to The Guardian, stated that the various comments made and newspaper editorials written over the issue showed that many people do not understand the real issue about remedial programmes.
Her letter partly read: “Prof. Ojerinde was quoted extensively by reporters as saying that, by next year all candidates seeking admission into the nation’s Polytechnics and Colleges of Education must sit for the MPCE examination. The Registrar was equally reported to have said that remedial programmes would no longer be accepted as a criterion for admission of candidates into higher institutions in the country.
“The Registrar, who was responding to questions from journalists at a press conference, said that the decision to put a stop to the use remedial programmes results for direct admission was informed by the desire to raise the quality of candidates being admitted into Polytechnics and Colleges of Education across the country.
“The Registrar’s comment on remedial programmes became so topical, that two national newspapers wrote editorials on the matter. In the editorials (which is the opinion of the Newspapers on the issue), the papers agreed with the Board on the aspect of the cancellation of remedial programmes for admission in order to protect the integrity of the admission process and ensure that qualify candidates are admitted into the Institutions.
“But, the papers were quick to counter the views of JAMB by saying “we must, however, point out that JAMB is not exactly correct in its supposition that Pre-Degree and Remedial programmes are only undertaken by students who are deficient in their minimum O’ level qualifications.
May I at this point correct the misconceptions and erroneous impression about the remedial programmes being “banned”. It is pertinent to mention that the issue of not using results of remedial programmes for Direct Entry Admission into higher institutions in the country is not a new policy by JAMB. Rather, the board only wants to implement the policy made by the government.
“The Federal Government had, as far back as 1998, through the Federal Ministry of Education, issued directives to Vice Chancellors of all Universities, Rectors of all Polytechnics and Provosts of all Colleges of Education on remedial and other related programmes in tertiary institutions.
“Also the Federal Executive Council (FEC) in 2000 gave institutions approval to run remedial programmes with clearly spelt out conditions. According to the council’s approval, remedial programmes are, in all cases, to be aimed at remedying registration deficiencies in respect of Degree, Diploma or NCE programmes as the case may be, especially when such deficiencies affect candidates from Educationally Less Developed States.
“One of the conditions approved by the FEC for running remedial programmes by the institutions was that, such programmes are to be accredited by their respective accrediting bodies namely, the National Universities Commission (NUC) for Universities, National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) for Polytechnics and National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE) for Colleges of Education. In addition to other conditions approved for the remedial programmes, the FEC directed that “all Remedial candidates are to sit for the requisite selection examination (UME or MPCE as the case may be) in order to qualify for absorption into the programme.”
“Thus Prof. ‘Dibu Ojerinde or JAMB did not introduce any new policy that says that remedial candidates must sit for JAMB Matriculation Examinations for admission into Higher Institutions. It is equally of note that institutions have continued to violate conditions and guidelines approved by the Federal Executive Council for running remedial programmes.
“In a letter to Heads of Institutions on Matriculation and Admissions into Tertiary Institutions, the then Minister of Education, Dr. Sam Olaiya Oni reminded them that JAMB is empowered to conduct admissions into tertiary institutions.
“The letter reads in parts, “For the purpose of clarity, you are to note that the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board’s enabling Degree 33 of 1978 and its subsequent amendments confer on the Board the determination of Matriculation requirements and placement of suitably qualified candidates into courses and programmes leading to the award of Degree, National Diploma (ND) and Nigerian Certificate in Education (NCE).”
“Dr. Oni further said that, “remedial programmes are aimed at only remedying deficiencies in pre-requisite qualifications of prospective candidates for admissions and are NOT alternatives for normal entrance into tertiary institutions nor should the beneficiaries of these programmes be preferred to other applicants who do not have to go through the same programmes”.
This was the point Prof. Ojerinde explained at the press conference, that the remedial programmes only allow candidates to remedy their deficiencies in their qualifications and then sit for JAMB Matriculation examination.
“It is worthy to note that about three years ago, the Joint Consultative Policy Committee on Admissions into Degree Awarding Institutions in Nigeria resolved that regularization of admissions should stop. But unfortunately, Universities are yet to comply. The Policy Committee meeting was attended by all Heads of Degree-Awarding Institutions, Executive Secretary of NUC, JAMB and Chairmen of the Senate and House Committees on Education.
“Direct adsorption of remedial candidates by Institutions without recourse to JAMB does not only give a distorted information about the number of candidates in the nation’s Tertiary Institutions but also makes effective planning difficult. For example, the National Youths Service Corps (NYSC) office will like to know how many graduates are coming for service in the years ahead. Without proper admission procedure, the National Youths Service Corps will not be given correct statistics of Corps members to be mobilized in a service year.
Source: The Guardian Newspaper Website