The Academic Staff Union of Universities has slammed the decision of the Federal Government to scrap the post-Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination.
In ASUU’s view, the decision portends danger to the quality of education in the country.
Speaking at a press conference on Monday in Abuja, Biodun Ogunyemi, national president of ASUU, said it was unfortunate because the Joint Admission Matriculation Board (JAMB) cannot be solely responsible for conducting examinations into the country’s higher institutions.
Nigerians have divided opinions about the action of the Federal Government as some Nigerians believe that scrapping the action of the government is necessary because with the amount of corruption going under the guise of the post-UME/UMTE, children of poor people will find it difficult to gain admissions into the country’s tertiary institution.
Ogunyemi said that scrapping the Post-UTME by the Federal Government was a mistake and should, therefore, be revisited with utmost urgency.
He recalled that vice-chancellors and other stakeholders had hitherto complained about the inability to reconcile the high performance of students in UTME in relation to their low performance in Post-UTME.
“Post-UTME is an inclusive process which seeks to involve tertiary institutions in the admission procedures of their would-be students.
“By this new policy of cancelling Post -UTME, this inclusiveness has been removed.
“Hence, all tertiary institutions are stripped of their right of admitting only candidates who meet up to their individual admission requirements and academic standards.”
He also said that scrapping the Post-UTME also portends grave danger for the future of tertiary education in the country.
Ogunyemi said that considering the poor performance of some graduates of tertiary institutions and their inability to satisfy the need of their employers, this was not the best time to lower the bar of education.
“On the contrary, this is the best time to raise the bar for the graduates of our tertiary institutions to be capable of competing both locally and globally.
“Scrapping the Post-UTME will not help us as a nation, considering the lack of confidence in UTME by the universities.”
Ogunyemi said that there were accusations that some universities had turned Post-UMTE to an exploitative machine by charging prospective students exorbitant fees in order drive Internally Generated Revenue.
He said that if this was true, government should introduce a template for a unified fee or in the alternative, government should liaise with the body of tertiary institutions to peg an amount.
He also said the payment for the exam should be made applicable to three sittings in order for a candidate who passed but could not secure admission to be able to sit twice on the same receipt.
The ASUU president said it was imperative for the policy of the Post-UTME proscription to be re-examined objectively and critically.
“This argument of the Federal Government on the policy is unacceptable and potentially harmful to the future of Nigeria’s education system.
“We call on government to rescind its decision and convene a genuine stakeholders’ meeting on the issue before making any policy statement.
“The process of taking decisions that could adversely affect the people and basic institutions vital for national development ought to be democratically and scientifically taken”, the president said.