Mixed reactions have trailed the decision of the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board, to peg the minimum cut-off mark for admissions into universities at 120.
Most Nigerians decried the reduction in the cut-off describing it as `too low a requirement for admission’ into the university.
Mr. Ettu Ahmed, an Educationist, said that the pegging of the cut-off to 120 would encourage laziness and lower the standard of education in the country.
“Rather than lower it to 120, JAMB management should have used 180 as the cut-off, judging from the number of those who scored 200 and above.
“JAMB’s decision to reduce the cut-off to such a mark could have a multiplier effect on the already lower standard of education in the country,’’ he said.
Mrs. Foluke Mathew, a concerned mother, berated JAMB management for toeing that path, adding that such ridiculous reduction would not augur well for the educational development of the country.
“When I was about entering the university in the 90s, the minimum requirement was 180 but instead of increasing it, the management of JAMB reduced it drastically.
“It saddened my heart when I heard the news of the reduction. The reduction is capable of destabilising the educational system,’’ she said.
Mrs. Adekemi Jegede, Headmistress, Methodist Elementary School, Oke-Omi, Osun, State noted that the reduction of the cut-off marks would only worsen academic performance in tertiary institutions.
Jegede said the level of academic excellence depends on the performance of candidates in the UTME.
“When I heard the news of the reduction in the cut-off mark by JAMB yesterday, I was so perplexed because this has not been the usual way of JAMB doing things.
“This will only reduce the level of performance of the students.
“I believe students should be made to read more but this reduction will only make them idle, especially as regards their academic performance,’’ she added.
However, some parents, teachers, and students in Bwari, FCT also expressed mixed feelings over the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board reduction of cut-off marks for admissions to tertiary institutions.
Mr.Joseph Okon, a civil servant said that although the reduction in the minimum cut-off marks marked a deviation from the past, he did not expect it to have been reduced to such level.
According to him, last year it was 180, I was expecting this year’s cut-off marks will be pegged at 170, but not as low as 120.
Okon said “I only pray that Universities will give room for our children to secure admission, to enable them to acquire tertiary education.
“Before now, securing admission into tertiary institutions used to be very difficult, due to high cut-off marks often placed by University authorities.
“At least with this reduction in the bench mark we are sure our children will secure admission with minimal effort.”
Mr. Femi Ogunle, a parent, decried reduction in cut off marks, adding that this negated his expectation about standards of the nation’s public examination.
“I used to think to pass the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination reflects candidate intelligence to an extent, but now to secure admission at 120 marks leaves a wrong impression,” Ogunle said.
On the contrary, a Secondary School Teacher, who pleaded anonymity, said that the reduction in cut-off marks would not in any way affect admission standards to tertiary institutions.
He suggested that there should be a platform to examine student intelligence through an aptitude test, to avoid a situation where dull ones get admission at the expense of the intelligent ones.
A student of Government Secondary School Dutse-Alhaji, Mr. Paul Egbe, expressed delight in the reduction of the admission cut-off marks.
According to him, the reduction of cut-off marks will help to reduce the back log of candidates wanting to enter higher institutions, but cannot.
Egbe said “at least with this reduction, many candidates will be able to secure admission to study their course of choice and even attend the University they desire.
“I call on JAMB to sustain this feat because it will go a long way to encourage people wanting to enter the higher institution, to do so after passing the UTME’’.
Miss Emmanuella Daniel, a student at Government Day Secondary School Bwari Central, said that the reduction of cut-off marks by the Board would hinder competition for excellence among candidates.
“I want JAMB to raise the bench mark to give room for those who really studied hard and passed the UTME, to be given admission.
“Reducing the cut-off marks to 120 will only benefit lazy students and contribute to the fallen standard of the nation’s education,” Daniel said.
JAMB had on Aug. 22 reduced university cut-off to 120, Polytechnics and Colleges of Education 100 at a policy meeting with the Vice Chancellors, Rectors, and Provosts of higher institutions in the country.
Prof. Is-haq Oloyede, Registrar, JAMB, had at the policy meeting of the stakeholders of Tertiary Institutions held in Abuja disclosed the reduction of cut off marks to 120.
The reduction decision on the choice of cut-off marks was an outcome of the unanimous agreement arrived at by heads of tertiary institutions at the policy meeting.
569,395 of the 1.7 million candidates that wrote this year’s UTME scored over 200 marks.