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Nigerians react to JAMB’s cut-off marks, bemoan decaying education system 

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By Deborah Onatunde

This year’s cut-off mark for admission into tertiary institutions following the low success recorded in this year’s Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has been  received with mixed feelings by Nigerian youths.

Recall that on July 21, JAMB pegged the minimum cut-off score for admission into the universities at 140 for the 2022/2023 academic session while it put that of Polytechnics at 120, and Colleges of Education at 100.

The resolution followed the announcement that out of the over 1.7 million candidates that sat for the examination, only 378,639 scored 200 and above.

This is coming amid the lingering industrial action embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).

Speaking with Nigerian NewsDirect, a graduate of University of Benin (UNIBEN), Ose Etiko, disclosed that the proposed cut-off mark is a measure of filtering those that are unqualified to be in an institution as he emphasised that JAMB is pointless “as we do not have an educational system in Nigeria again.”

According to Etiko, “Candidates who cannot meet up to the cut-off mark do not deserve to be admitted.

“JAMB is pointless. There is no need for JAMB since the cut-off is 140. You do not deserve to be in school if you can’t meet up to the newly announced cut-off mark as this are used to filter candidate to institutions.”

For a Philosophy student of Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), Tiwa Adegbemi, JAMB has been turned to a business for officials as students keep writing countless times.

Adegbemi bemoaned the failure of the country’s education sector.

“Jamb is making money from candidates as most people write jamb 11 times or more before making the cut-off, and the school still gives its own cut-off. Nigeria Education is a failed one from facilities to the Lecturers,” she said.

A JAMB candidate, Felix Sowode, could not hide his displeasure at the sudden decrease in JAMB’S cut-off mark.

According to Sowode, “140 JAMB cut-off mark shows the level of decay in education. This is so sad.”

Mr. Abeoye Badina expressed his thoughts on the instability in the JAMB cut-off mark, which, according to him, has been falling drastically for the past years from 200 to 180 then 140.

He believes that soon, cut-off mark to be admitted in universities and polytechnics would be 100 and 50 respectively.

“Education has been falling drastically for the past 4 years from 200 to 180 then 140. Soon it will be 100 for universities and 50 for Polytechnic. School system is becoming weakened as time goes,” he said.

Education

UK varsity offers Nigerians N44m scholarships

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The University of East Anglia, situated in Norwich, United Kingdom, has announced a £33,150 (N44.3 million) worth of scholarships and travel costs of £4000 (N5.3 million) to Nigerians and other applicants seeking masters in Plant and Health in its institution.

The funding, according to information gathered on the school’s website on Wednesday, is the David Sainsbury Scholarships in Global Plant Health, which is fully funded for students planning to travel to the UK for study.

The scholarship also covers postgraduate researcher stipend level, which they said would be determined later for the session of admission, adding that the previous academic year was £18,622.

The university also noted that the application is for the 2024/2025 Academic Session, which will begin in September.

While wooing prospective and eligible applicants, the school wrote, “The Sainsbury Laboratory (TSL) offers the prestigious David Sainsbury Scholarships in Global Plant Health to a limited number of applicants on the MSc in Global Plant Health.

“Each full scholarship will cover up to the full cost of the tuition fee (£33,150 for 2024-25), maintenance grant (exact value at the UKRI postgraduate researcher stipend level to be determined for 2024-25; in 2023-24, it was £18,622), and an additional £4,000 for travel costs (subject to valid economy class travel receipts).

“You are eligible for a full scholarship under these terms if you meet all these criteria: You are in receipt of an offer of a place on the UEA MSc in Global Plant Health; You are a national of or domiciled in a least-developed, low-income, or lower-middle-income country or territory as defined by the Overseas Development Agency Development Assistance Committee (DAC) list, version 2024-25 for entry in 2024-25 academic year.

“There are a limited number of scholarships available, and these will be awarded throughout the year, so you are advised to apply early.”

The institution further added that once the criteria for admission are met, the applicants are eligible for receipts of an offer of a place on the UEA MSc in Global Plant Health.

It further advised that more scholarships will be updated on their website in May while encouraging applicants to always check for updates.

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Alleged negligence: Tragedy as female student dies at Ilaro Poly Clinic

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…School management accused of deceptive tactics in student’s death

…Shut down poly clinic to prevent further loss of lives — Student body demands

By Sodiq Adelakun

A student of Leisure and Tourism at the Federal Polytechnic Ilaro, Ajayi Abimbola Adejoke, has lost her life due to alleged negligence at the school clinic.

This devastating incident is part of a larger pattern of indifference and neglect towards students seeking medical attention, according to reports.

A student who wished to remain anonymous revealed that Adejoke was denied medical attention at the clinic due to her lack of a clinic pass.

This shocking revelation has sparked outrage and calls for action from the student body, demanding accountability and improved healthcare services at the institution.

The student union president, Thanni Damilare Abdullahi, has issued a statement demanding justice and accountability for the clinic staff’s alleged disregard for human life.

The student body is united in their demand for a thorough investigation, reform, and reshuffling of the clinic staff.

They refuse to accept complacency or indifference in the face of such grave injustices against students.

According to the statement, “The distressing reality is that this isn’t the first time such negligence has resulted in the loss of student lives. Despite being entrusted with the responsibility of providing medical care, the clinic staff’s alleged disregard for human life has led to preventable tragedies.

“As students, it is our collective demand for justice that drives us to speak out against these injustices. The loss of a fellow student is a loss to the entire community, and it is imperative that those responsible for such negligence are held accountable.

“Calls for a total reform and reshuffling of the clinic staff are not unwarranted. It is evident that a systemic change is needed to ensure such tragic incidents do not occur again in the future. Students should feel safe and assured that their health and well-being are prioritized when seeking medical assistance on campus.”

In light of recent events, there is a growing sentiment among students to take action, even if it means temporarily shutting down the clinic to prevent further loss of lives. Every life lost due to negligence is a stark reminder of the urgency of our demands.

The student union president, Thanni Damilare Abdullahi, has urged all students to join the movement and demand justice.

The statement has been endorsed by other student leaders, including Oloyede Hassan A., Deputy Coordinator of NAPS Southwest, Bammeke Solomon, Sport Director of NANS Southwest, and Folarin Israel Goodness, NAOSS National Treasurer.

The students are determined to ensure that no more lives are lost due to negligence and are calling on the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), National and the Senior Special Assistant to the President of Nigeria on Student Engagement to intervene and support their demands.

Efforts to contact the institution’s Public Relations Officer, Mr. Sola Abiala, were unsuccessful, as he failed to respond to WhatsApp messages.

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UNIBEN ASUU threatens to boycott April 28 resumption over violence on campus

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By Elvis Omoregie, Benin

The University of Benin Branch of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), on Monday said its members may not be available to resume academic activities on the 28th of April 2024, if immediate action and the necessary processes are not immediately initiated to nip in the bud incessant violence attack on lecturers and management staff by some errant students of the institution.

The ASUU leadership also noted that it is constrained to embark on teaching and research in an environment in which lecturers are prime targets for brutalisation or elimination by some UNIBEN students they are labouring to impact with the wealth of their intellectual property following attack on her members.

The ASUU position is coming on the heels of the attempted murder of Dr. Presley Osemwengie, a lecturer in the Department of Economics and member of the University of Benin Branch of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), by some members of the Executive Committee of the University of Benin Students Union.

A statement signed by Ray Chikogu and Success Abusomwan, Chairman and Secretary respectively, UNIBEN Branch of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and made available to Nigerian NewsDirect in Benin City noted that Dr. Presley Osemwengie was attacked, hit in the back of his head with a small axe and left for dead in the pool of his own blood by some of those in the company of the Students Union President.

The statement reads in part, “We are constrained to issue this statement on the basis of the spate of violence and general atmosphere of insecurity that has pervaded the Ugbowo campus of the University of Benin of late. This culminated in the attempted murder of Dr. Presley Osemwengie, a lecturer in the Department of Economics and member of the University of Benin Branch of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), by some members of the Executive Committee of the University of Benin Students Union led by their President and some ex- as well as non-students of the University on Friday the 12th of April, 2024.

“On that fateful day, the President of the Students Union of the University of Benin marched upon a gathering of staff of the University and their invited guests, ordering them to discontinue their interaction as he was not pre-informed and consequently, did not grant permission for the interaction to be held.

“In the resulting melee, Dr. Presley Osemwengie was attacked; hit in the back of his head with a small axe and left for dead in the pool of his own blood by some of those in the company of the Students Union President.

“It is necessary to note that this worrisome trend began with the assault by both students and nonstudents of the University on the person of the current Vice Chancellor of the University of Benin in September 2021 when she was humiliated and marched from her residence to the Main Gate of the University in very hostile circumstances.

“Other similar and very unsavoury incidents in which students of the University of Benin have threatened and brutalised lecturers of the University have also been reported at different times. This cannot continue.

“We wish to now state that it is impossible for our members to hereafter dispose of any teaching and research in an environment in which they are prime targets for brutalisation or elimination by some of the students they are labouring to impact with the wealth of their intellectual property. So it is incumbent on the Administration of the University of Benin to provide adequate security for staff of the University and create an atmosphere conducive for effective teaching and learning on our campuses.

“To the end that our members will feel safe to conduct their business of research, teaching, and supervision going forward from the 28th of April 2024 (being the date of resumption for the next academic session) therefore, and without prejudice to the work of the Committee set up by the University Administration to investigate the incident at stake, we state as follows as encapsulated in the resolutions of the meeting of the Congress of ASUU UNIBEN on Thursday the 18th of April, 2024.”

“Our Union condemns in very strong terms, the rebellious and terrorising acts of brigandage being carried out by our students both as individuals and under the cover of student unionism in their entirety,” Chikogu said.

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