It is now a case of distrust between two powerful forces in the Nigerian education sector, the Academic Staff Union of University, ASUU, and the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board, JAMB.
ASUU is an umbrella union that handles issues with the academic staff of all universities in the country while JAMB conducts entry examinations for prospective candidates into universities, polytechnics and colleges of education.
Currently, the University of Ibadan Chapter of the union, is calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to probe allegation that JAMB would be generating over N1billion from the sale of scratch cards to candidates seeking admission into tertiary institutions across the country.
The scratch cards, according to the union, are being sold to candidates by JAMB at the sum of N1,500 to each.
Professor Olusegun Ajiboye, the chairman of the union in the university, said the new policy by JAMB would not only be counter-productive, it would make admission process chaotic and exposed candidates to fraudsters.
Apart from JAMB, the various tertiary institutions also generate huge sums from post-JAMB examinations.
ASUU thinks the policy is exploitative and wants the examination body to respect candidates’ preferences and choices for tertiary institutions and consider their security, cost, proximity, quality, and rights of the Nigerian child in arriving at any policy.
“It alleged that Professor Dibu Ojerinde, who oversees the affairs of the board was insensitive to the plights of the Nigerian masses with parents not paid for months by some governors but are now being forced to pay N1, 500 to know where their wards are reassigned against their choices,” ASUU said.
However, the Head of Media for JAMB, Dr. Fabian Benjamin, while denying that the board was exploiting candidates, added that JAMB does not sell scratch cards and that the internet access is free to all candidates.
According to JAMB spokesman, “the National cut-off marks of 180 for universities and 150 for Polytechnics, Colleges of Education and Innovative Enterprise institutions in the 2015 UTME was a benchmark to set the tone for 2015 admission exercise.
“The decision to have a national accepted cut-off mark at policy meeting was to serve as a guide and pruning mechanism to give the tertiary institutions qualitative candidates to choose from a pool of candidates desirous of tertiary education.
“However, Universities and other levels of tertiary institutions are at liberty to go higher, but not lower, depending on their peculiarities and the performance of candidates that choose them. Provided these cut off marks are uniformly applied to all candidates based on existing admission criteria by proprietors of these institutions.
“Universities are centres of excellence anywhere in the world and ours should not be an exception. The policy witnessed in University of Lagos is aimed at ensuring that our Universities admit only the top best as done globally.”