By Iyabo Lawal, Ibadan
CHAIRMAN of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), University of Ibadan (UI) Chapter, Prof. Segun Ajiboye, has asked the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) Registrar, Prof. Dibu Ojerinde, to stop promoting a policy to favour private universities and exploit the poor.
The ASUU boss noted that JAMB’s relevance in Nigeria ended when universities started conducting their own post-UTME examinations, saying that the board cannot solely be relied on for admission by universities.
Ajiboye, who spoke on a television programme monitored in Ibadan on the recent policy of re-allocation of candidates by JAMB,said that it was sad that the body has suddenly become promoters of private universities by imposing an unpopular policy on the preferences and choices of Nigerian youths.
He noted that the examination body lacks the power to change the rules of admission in the middle of the process after ‘deceiving’ candidates to pick university, polytechnic and college of education as options.
While insisting that JAMB must respect the right of choice of candidates, Ajiboye said it was fraudulent and not in the interest of the children of the masses for board to use force to get candidates for private universities.
He said: “JAMB’s concept of ‘needy’ institutions needs deconstruction here. Needy universities are basically private universities in Nigeria who charge exorbitant fees with less than required manpower. In the 2015 UTME applications, 15,000 of the close to 1,436,837 million candidates sought admission into 48 private universities. Of these, Covenant, Babcock and Afe Babalola universities had 3,144; 1,985 and 1,247 applicants respectively. Others had below 600 applicants with some like Southwestern University, Wellspring University and Kwararafa University having less than 10 candidates! If not doing the bidding of private universities, JAMB ought to be open with its policy from the point of sale of the forms. JAMB must tell us how many public universities are under-subscribed.”
The Ibadan Zonal Co-ordinator of ASUU said JAMB is only a clearing house and to do geographical balancing of using federal character, noting that such functions have now ceased since all zones have federal universities with some states having two universities.
He said private universities are already in crisis because they can no longer pay salaries of their members of staff due to non-preference by candidates, adding that course of study, proximity and affordability have always guided the choice of candidates in selecting tertiary institutions.
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