A rights group, Stand Up Nigeria has said the directive of the Federal Government to scrap the Post UMTE (Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examinations) is a boost to the anti-corruption fight in the education sector as it will end the generation of revenue that does not get to the government coffers.
In a statement by the group’s Secretary General, Sunday Attah described the Post UMTE as an exploitative practice to “extort admission seekers under the guise of screening them for competence.”
He said the examination was also a loophole for corruption that allows tertiary institution staff to admit preferred candidates by technically voiding the UMTE scores.
He said, “We therefore see the scrapping of this controversial examination as a boost to the anti-corruption fight in the education sector as it will end the generation of revenue that does not get to the government coffers.”
Attah also commended the Registrar of JAMB, Professor Dibu Ojerinde and his team for bringing about the change that restored the credibility of the examination body.
According to him, “We all know the state JAMB was in before Professor Ojerinde stepped in to revamp and reposition the place. Today, the confidence of the government is such that it was able to argue that there should be no need for Universities to conduct internal examinations to determine the fate of candidates seeking admissions because of the absolute confidence in JAMB. The Minister of Education also confirmed that JAMB has built a level of confidence in terms of conducting the UTME.
“We know that those who favour the Post UMTE test will soon mount a campaign for its sustenance or reintroduction. The influential parents who must manipulate the admission process for their children, owners of miracle examination centres, admission racketeering cabals in tertiary institutions are a few of those that we know we put pressure on the authorities to reverse this laudable directive. But we want to put them on notice that Nigerians will not accept a return to writing Post UMTE test now that JAMB is perfecting the Computer Based Test (CBT) that renders it unnecessary to the extent that the government did the needful by scrapping it.”
He urged Professor Ojerinde to surpass the bar he has set by further consolidating on the changes he has brought to JAMB, saying he should disregard detractors who think their source of dubious wealth is being threatened by a JAMB that is bringing global best practice to Nigeriaâ€™s education sector.
Hee appealed to the Minister of Education to put machinery in motion to expand the tertiary education system to be able to handle more intakes, saying this will reduce the pressure on the limited available admission spaces.
According to Attah, this was what was exploited to introduce the Post UMTE. He said If the competition to get admission space continues to be fierce, opportunists will again devise a means to exploit candidates.
He said further that the Ministry of Education must also take steps to monitor for compliance with its directive whether in public institutions or in the privately owned schools to ensure that the Post UMTE is not reintroduced under new names or procedures.