The Federal Government has overruled the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board on its new admission policy that recently sparked off protests in parts of the country.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Mr. MacJohn Nwaobiala, disclosed this to State House correspondents on Tuesday, after briefing President Muhammadu Buhari of his ministry’s activities and challenges at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
JAMB had, at its 2015 Combined Policy Meeting, adopted a policy whereby candidates of universities with surplus applicants for the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examinations are reassigned to other universities with lower number of applicants than their capacities.
Protest started at the University of Lagos when the institution’s authorities announced that only candidates whose names were officially forwarded by JAMB are eligible to participate in this year’s UNILAG Post-UTME.
Nwaobiala told reporters that the decision was jointly taken at a stakeholders’ meeting that had parents and others in attendance.
He said because of the dust raised by the development, the Federal Government had commenced consultation with the aim of identifying where adjustments could be made.
He however said students that made the cut-off marks have been directed to go and write post-UME examinations in their schools of first choice since that was the bone of contention.
Nwaobiala said, “This JAMB thing has been there. As the policy making body, when these issues were raised, they raised in a stakeholders meeting. We normally have what we call the policy meeting. Everything about admission are discussed with parents and other stakeholders at the meeting.
“These are decisions that we collectively took. However, we have a listening hear. We have taken a lot of the issues raised into consideration and we are consulting to see the adjustments we can make here and there.
“The directive has been given. All the students that made the cut-off marks have been told to go and write post-UME examinations in their schools of first choice. After, they can go to their schools of second choice. That has been the bone of contention.”
On the threat by the West African Examinations Council to withhold the results of candidates in 19 states, who wrote the May/June 2015 WASSCE following unpaid examination fees by the state governments, Nwaobiala appealed to states to fulfil their promises.