Saturday, July 13, 2024

Stop admitting underage candidates, JAMB registrar tells VCs

“State- owned universities must explore how best to carve out specific niches.’’

• July 9, 2024
JAMB Registrar, Prof. Ishaq Oloyede
Prof. Ishaq Oloyede [Photo Credit; Premium Times Nigeria]

Registrar of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, Prof. Ishaq Oloyede, has warned tertiary institutions especially universities to stop admitting underage candidates.

He described such an action as illegal.

Mr Oloyede said that admitting underage candidates needed to be stopped.

The JAMB registrar stated the position at the opening of the seventh biennial conference of Committee of Pro-Chancellors of state-owned universities in Nigeria on Tuesday in Lagos.

The theme of the conference was, “Effective university governance: Role of stakeholders.’’

He said that for the sake of accountability, data protection and integrity of the nation, the act needed to stop because anything that was irregular was illegal.

He said, “About two months ago, I received a letter from a European country to confirm if a student actually graduated from a particular university because she is 15 years old and applied for a 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.’’

He noted that state-owned universities must do a lot in this regard because they constituted 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 should be accountable because these acts can damage our education system,” Mr Oloyede said.

A former Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, urged the pro-chancellors to make a plan of action on how they could make their institutions as competent and attractive as federal and private universities.

Mr Gambari said that by doing so, it 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 is a foundation for brand creation and recognition is ascertained,” he said.

Chairman of COPSUN, Senator Joshua Lidani, said that the theme encompassed many issues that had to do with governance in the university system.

Mr Lidani, Pro-Chancellor, Gombe State University, said that currently there were several challenges bedevilling 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 were indiscriminate and premature dissolution of governing councils and boards of tertiary educational institutions and delay in reconstituting them,” he said.

Mr Lidani added that apart from the illegality of these acts, a huge vacuum was usually left in the administration of the institution leading to diverse anomalies.

“There are also incessant strikes 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 affecting the system and extent of the problem.  Of course, this conference alone will not be able to address the problems but it can raise public consciousness and alarm at the threat posed to good governance, standards and quality in the tertiary educational system.  I have no doubt that the conference can point the way forward and advise on the way stakeholders can play a better and rightful role in uplifting the standards of education in the country,” he said.


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