The Registrar of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Prof. Is-haq Oloyede, has stressed the need to place embargo on the establishment of new universities in Nigeria by the relevant agency and that rather efforts be geared towards developing the existing ones.
Prof Oloyede made at the 4th Convocation Lecture of the Federal University, Dutse, Jigawa State, adding, “Since education is everybody’s business, all Nigerians should support the effort towards educational development.”
He pointed out that universities should not be established just to boost the ego of rich individuals and politicians.
According to him, “A situation where universities are only established to massage the ego of rich individuals and politicians is not healthy for educational development of the country as tertiary education is too crucial to be reduced to a commercial outfit or an ego-tripping venture.”
Oloyede who took a critical look at the recommendations of the 2017 Presidential Retreat on Education which recommended a declaration of a state of emergency in the education sector, advocated increased funding of education in the country by committing nothing less than 15% of the national budget to the sector.
The JAMB boss then took time off to list some innovations that have greatly impacted the conduct of the UTME. These include elimination of scratch cards, creation of candidates’ profiles through text messages to eliminate claims of errors in name, introduction of CCTV, enhanced participation of stakeholders, CBT centre monitoring, testing and capturing of candidates’
Others innovations include reduction in fees of foreign candidates, inclusion of people with special needs, stoppage of Admissions regularisation, shift from VSAT VPN for the transmission of test items to that of TELCOS, use of 9 keys to bypass the usage of the mouse, zero tolerance for corrupt practices, enhanced live monitoring of centres and equipment as well as the unprecedented remittance of billions of naira to the national treasury among others.
Prof. Oloyede added that there were major and minor gains of such innovations. According to him, one of the major gains is the outcome of credible research which showed that critical stakeholders have begun to discover that UTME results are true reflections of candidates’ ability. This is in sharp contrast to the lack of confidence in UTME results which had informed the introduction of Post UTME in 2005. Continuing, Prof. He said that his assertion was based on an empirical analysis of the correlation between students’ performance in the UTME and post-UTME at the University of Ibadan. The particular research work was carried out by Otekunrin, Okon and Otekunrin (2017). The study had established the fact that there was a high degree of correlation in candidates’ performance in both UTME and Post-UTME of applicants to the University of Ibadan.
The study concluded that candidates with good UTME scores should be admitted into the University of Ibadan without the conduct of Post-UTME. This is contrary to that of Busayo (2010) which had justified the
introduction of Post-UTME as the majority of those who did well in UTME were found not to have performed well in the post-UTME, invariably showing no correlation.
As a further vindication of the study carried out by Otekunrin (2017), Prof. Oloyede drew attention to the overwhelming correlation between the 2019 UTME results of the top three candidates and their academic antecedents.
Further in his lecture, Oloyede charged all Nigerians to key into the anti-corruption campaign of the federal government.
He expressed his displeasure at the huge damage done by corruption to our national life and opined that when this hydra-dreaded monster is confronted headlong, the country would witness tremendous progress in all spheres of life.