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JAMB Warns Varsities Against Admitting Underage Students

JAMB Warns Varsities Against Admitting Underage Students

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Summary : Registrar of the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Prof. Ishaq Oloyede, has warned tertiary institutions, especially universities to stop admitting underage children. Oloyede who stated this at the opening of the seventh biennial conference of the Committee of Pro-Chancellors of State-Owned Universities in Nigeria on Tuesday in Lagos, said the ‘illegal’ practice of admitting underage needed to be aborted. The Registrar pleaded that for the sake of accountability, data protection, and integrity of the nation, the act needed to stop because anything irregular was illegal. “About two months ago, I received a letter from an European country to confirm if a student actually graduated from a particular university because she is 15 years old and applied for postgraduate course. “The question they asked me is “is this possible in Nigeria? I had to call the Vice Chancellor of the institution and he confirmed the student graduated from the university but was not admitted by JAMB. “He had to include that he was not the VC at the time the student was admitted,” Oloyede said. Oloyede noted that state-owned universities must do a lot in this situation, stressing that they are more in number than federal universities. “Also, illegal admission of diploma students needs to stop because last year, we admitted 9,000 diploma students, I was alarmed that about 3,000 students came from a particular university. Everyone of us should be accountable because all these acts can damage our education system,” Oloyede said. The former Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, urged the pro-chancellors to make plan of action on how they could make their institutions as competent and attractive as federal and private universities. Gambari emphasised that doing so would ensure that they were able to retain some of the best faculty and staff which attracted the best in the pool of eligible students. “State-owned universities must explore how best to carve out specific niches which inevitably place them in a position to exploit corresponding comparative advantages that enhance their position. “Successfully executing this, a foundation for brand creation and recognition is ascertained,” he said. Chairman of COPSUN, Sen. Joshua Lidani, said that the discussion included many issues that had to do with governance in the university system. Lidani who is the Pro-Chancellor of the Gombe State University, said there were currently several challenges confronting the university system and tertiary education generally. “Some of these challenges include corrupt practices, impersonation, ‘miracle’ exam centres, inadequate funding, and proliferation of universities. “Others are discriminate and premature dissolution of governing councils and boards of tertiary educational institutions and delay in reconstituting them,” he said. Lidani added that apart from the illegality of these acts, a huge vacuum was usually left in the administration of the institution leading to all kinds of anomalies. “Incessant strike action by ASUU and other labour unions and the attendant consequences in stability, quality and standards. “These are definitely not exhaustive but are symptomatic of the deep malaise that is affecting the system and extent of the problem. “Of course, this conference alone will not be able to address the problem but it can raise public consciousness and alarm at the threat posed to good governance, standards and quality in the tertiary educational system,” he said. The COPSUN chairman expressed confidence that the conference can point the way forward and advice on the way stakeholders can play better and rightful role in uplifting the standards of education in the country. (LEADERSHIP)

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