Lessons for JAMB from UCAS

We are worried that in view of all the hostile interaction of JAMB with candidates, that their parents and guardians have not taken a class action against JAMB ,and the universities for fleecing their children, in the guise of giving admissions

6334reporters Editorial Team.

The Nigeria’s Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, JAMB, set up in 1977 to conduct entrance examination for candidates seeking admission into tertiary institutions has come along way.

Though it has made tremendous milestones and success, it has also faced daunting challenges in equal measures, but for the yearly candidates that seek its services to get admitted into institutions of their choices, the story of JAMB , and their experience passing through its portals have been less salutary, it has been tales of woes, bitterness and protracted suffering, as they have one bitter experience or the two to tell in the hands of the examination body.

Based on the modest success of JAMB, United Kingdom sent some observers to understudy it for three months in 1990, and the result led to the establishment of UCAS, which is modelled on JAMB with slight variation as a clearing house for admissions in the United Kingdom.

As a newspaper, we are unable to understand the philosophy and objectives for setting up the examination body, given its recent emphasis and inclination towards business, rather than the core, which is acting as a clearing house for admissions.

UCAS, the JAMB equivalent in UK, has successfully managed seamlessly admissions to UK universities with tremendous results.

In the case of UCAS, from the point of applications to the point of admissions or rejection, the UCAS process is seamless, and seen as a single chain which attracts just £28 to be paid by the candidates, this will take care of all the process in the admission chain. It is neither a revenue collector for government and the universities, rather it is set up to make admissions easier for students seeking higher education.

But in Nigeria, candidates are made to pass through the crucible from the time they purchase the application forms to admissions proper, as they are forced to pay for all sort of fees from change of course fee to post Utme fee, down to the purchase of card to access result, fees that ought to have been captured in the exorbitant application fees charged. This is aside the psychological and physical stress that accompanies candidates at each juncture of interaction with the examination body, and the universities.

The interaction from day is hostile, tyrannical and inhumane, same process of base dehumanization follows when candidates go to university of their choice.

In UK, the universities use their open day to woo students into coming to their school, using all sorts of gimmicks, like free computer to lure candidates. The interaction is always one yo remember for candidates.

We are worried that in view of all the hostile interaction of JAMB with candidates, that their parents and guardians have not taken a class action against JAMB ,and the universities for fleecing their children, in the guise of giving admissions.

UCAS does not make money from sales of applications forms beyond the services provided. All revenues accrued to it from sales of forms are used to provide services to students. The core of UE revenue in any given year comes from data sales. Data are sold to banks who provide banking services worth £11 billion students’ loans.Insurance companies buy students’ data to offer insurance services worth millions, while telecommunications companies like O2, EE, Vodafone and others buy data so as to attract the 450,000 new undergraduates to subscribe to 2-year mobile contracts

For UCAS, unlike JAMB, candidates are treated with utmost respect, and it employs both the print and electronic media to connect the candidates to itself and the universities of their choices.

It believes in treating candidates with comfort and dignity, and for those who can not get admissions to their choice universities because of low marks, UCAS offers a clearing system which provides a platform free of charge. The system is that UCAS attaches candidates’ results to their applications ,and matches same with universities who have spaces , and are willing to accept those results.

It is inhuman for JAMB to turn itself into revenue collector for government, instead of offering seamless services for which it was set up.

The remittances of 5 billion to government has exposed JAMB’ s underbelly as rent collector, and the muddled thinking of the government.

It is high time concerned Nigerians took greater interest in this shenanigans, and the right way to go is to begin advocacy for the right things to be done. In the light of this, we condemn the huge remittances to government, it is extortion of innocent students through arbitrary charges. JAMB must be made to stop this extortion racket now.

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