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JAMB warns universities to stop admitting students under 18

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Prof. Ishaq Oloyede, Registrar of the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has warned tertiary institutions especially universities to stop admissions of underaged describing it as “illegal”.

He said that illegal admission such as admitting underage needed to be aborted. Oloyede asserted at the opening of the seventh biennial conference of the Committee of Pro-Chancellors of State-Owned Universities in Nigeria on Tuesday in Lagos.

The Theme of the conference was: “Effective University Governance: Role of Stakeholders”.

He said that for the sake of accountability, data protection and integrity of the nation, this act needed to stop because anything irregular was illegal.

“About two months ago, I received a letter from an European country to confirm if a student actually graduated from a particular university because she is 15 years old and applied for postgraduate course.

“They question they asked me is “Is this possible in Nigeria.

“I had to call the Vice Chancellor of the institution and he confirmed the student graduated from the university but was not admitted by JAMB.

“He had to include that he was not the VC at the time the student was admitted,” Oloyede said.

He noted that state-owned universities must do a lot in this situation because they constituted more in number than federal universities.

“Also illegal admission of diploma students needs to stop because last year, we admitted 9,000 diploma students; I was alarmed that about 3,000 students came from a particular university.

“Everyone of us should be accountable because all these acts can damage our education system,” Oloyede added.

Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, former Chief of Staff to the President urged the pro-chancellors to make a plan of action on how they could make their institutions as competent and attractive as federal and private universities.

Gambari said that by so doing, it ensured that they were able to retain some of the best faculty and staff which attracted the best in the pool of eligible students.

“State-owned universities must explore how best to carve out specific niches which inevitably place them in a position to exploit corresponding comparative advantages that enhance their position.

“Successfully executing this , a foundation for brand creation and recognition is ascertained,” he noted.

Sen. Joshua Lidani, Chairman of COPSUN said that the theme encompassed many issues that had to do with governance in the university system.

Lidani, Pro-Chancellor of Gombe State University, said that currently there were several challenges bedevilling the university system and tertiary education generally.

“Some of these challenges include corrupt practices, impersonation, miracle exam centres, inadequate funding, proliferation of universities.

“Others were discriminate and premature dissolution of governing councils and boards of tertiary educational institutions and delay in reconstituting them,” he said.

Lidani added that apart from the illegality of these acts, a huge vacuum was usually left in the administration of the institution leading to all kinds of anomalies.

“Incessant strike action by ASUU and other labour unions and the attendant consequences in stability, quality and standards.

“These are definitely not exhaustive but are symptomatic of the deep malaise that is affecting the system and extent of the problem.

“Of course, this conference alone will not be able to address the problem but it can raise public consciousness and alarm at the threat posed to good governance, standards and quality in the tertiary educational system.

“I have no doubt that the conference can point the way forward and advise on the way stakeholders can play a better and rightful role in uplifting the standards of education in the country,” he stated.

Education

FG asks universities not to collect Post-UTME application fees from PWDs

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The federal government has urged universities not to collect Post-UTME application fees from persons with disabilities (PWDs).

Tahir Mamman, minister of education, gave the directive at the 2024 ‘Policy Meeting on Admissions to Tertiary Institutions in Nigeria’.

The meeting held on July 18 at The Body of Benchers in Abuja.

“It is not in doubt that the challenges faced by Persons Living with Disabilities in terms of access to education have remained intractable despite unprecedented efforts to ensure equal opportunities for studies,” he said.

“One of such reforms to encourage inclusive participation of Persons Living with Disabilities (PLWDs) as contained in the Roadmap for the Nigerian Education Sector which I launched in 2023, is the waiver of application fees during the 2024 registration exercise.

“This has yielded positive results, with a significant increase in applicants this year. Efforts are ongoing to encourage more participation of PLWDs.”

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Education

JAMB issues audiobook for visually impaired DE, UTME candidates

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The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has issued audiobooks for visually impaired candidates seeking to take the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) or gain admission through Direct Entry (DE).

The latest innovation was contained in a document titled ‘Registrar’s Report on 2023 Admission and 2024 UTME’ and released at this year’s policy meeting which took place at Hairat Ade Balogun Auditorium, Body of Benchers, Abuja on Thursday.

The exam body said the audiobook aims to provide a level playing field for all candidates.

JAMB also disclosed that the material is a digital adaptation of the traditional reading book, adding that it is in audio file formats like WMV, MP3, WMA, AAC, etc.

The board said the innovation was suggested at the first national conference on equal opportunity of access to higher education in Nigeria between September 25 and 26, 2023.

“It is a digital adaptation of the traditional reading book. It is in popular audio file format like WMV, MP3, WMA, AAC, etc. It is compatible with all devices that can stream audio records,” the document reads in part.

“This helps the blind candidates to easily understand the subject/text.”

About 577 visually impaired candidates wrote this year’s UTME in eleven centres nationwide.

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Education

Some universities were admitting 10-year-olds, says Oloyede on new age limit

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Ishaq Oloyede, registrar of the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), says some tertiary institutions in Nigeria were found to have illegally admitted candidates as young as 10 and 12.

The ministry of education earlier pegged the minimum age for university, polytechnic, and college of education admissions at 18.

Oloyede, during JAMB’s policy meeting in Abuja, spoke on why it became necessary to adopt a minimum age for admissions.

He said some universities had admitted candidates as young as 12 and 10 outside JAMB’s central admission processing system (CAPS).

Oloyede cited the case of a Nigerian institution he did not name and a postgraduate applicant who was looking to study in Germany.

He said the student, documented to have enrolled in the university at 12 to graduate at 15, was discovered after they attempted to pursue a postgraduate degree in Germany.

Oloyede said the European Union, whose scholarship grant the student attempted to apply for, had contacted the board to verify the student’s credentials.

“The candidate applied for a postgraduate scholarship under Erasmus Mundus. The body found it strange that the candidate’s date of birth was 2007,” he said.

“By her passport, she started studying at a university in Nigeria when she was 12 and graduated at 15. The selection committee contacted Nigeria to confirm whether the candidate studied at a university.

“The EU asked if it was possible to graduate candidates at such a young age.”

Oloyede said such cases could negatively affect the perception of the larger pool of degrees awarded by Nigerian tertiary institutions.

“In the next two to three years, the EU could tighten its requirements and all graduates of Nigerian universities would suffer it,” he said.

“We found that [JAMB] never admitted the candidate because she was underage. The university admitted and registered the candidate. I couldn’t respond to the EU because I was embarrassed. I didn’t know what to write.

“Ignorantly, the vice-chancellor confirmed that the student attended the school but that they weren’t the VC at that time.”

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Bodex F. Hungbo, SPMIIM is a multiple award-winning Nigerian Digital Media Practitioner, Digital Strategist, PR consultant, Brand and Event Expert, Tv Presenter, Tier-A Blogger/Influencer, and a top cobbler in Nigeria.

She has widespread experiences across different professions and skills, which includes experiences in; Marketing, Media, Broadcasting, Brand and Event Management, Administration and Management with prior stints at MTN, NAPIMS-NNPC, GLOBAL FLEET OIL AND GAS, LTV, Silverbird and a host of others

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