The examination body reduced the cut-off mark to 180 for admission to degree programmes, and 150 for national certificate in education, national diploma and national innovation diplomas.
The new directive was revealed at the 2015 Combined Policy Meeting on Admissions to Degree, Nigerian Certificate of Education, and National Diploma.
At the meeting, JAMB also announced its new policy to redistribute candidates to universities other than their first choice; a policy where applicants are reassigned to other universities with lower number of candidates.
The benefit of the new policy as explained by JAMB Registrar was adopted to help needy universities with lower number of candidates and assist JAMB candidates have better chances of admission in universities they are reassigned to; an effort geared towards helping candidates of over-subscribed institutions gain admission to other federal or state universities rather than wasting their scores.
The development, which generated sharp criticism from stakeholders almost paralyzed activities in some of the most sought after universities in the country.
The Child Help in Legal Defence of Right to Education in Nigeria, CHILDREN Project in its own contribution to series of reactions of stakeholders, parents, students etc is of the opinion that the JAMB seems to have proven itself to be incompetent over the years.
We see the stance of the institution allowing universities to conduct their own exam before they can admit students, as a way of subjecting eligible students to the harrowing experience of having to write two exams, an exercise we consider as unnecessary and stressful. Such exercise could only mean that the Nigerian universities have lost confidence in the ability of JAMB to conduct credible and usable exam. And, of course, one of the ultimate benefits of an exam is how useable it is.
It has become clear that JAMB is not adequately coordinated; its invigilation machinery is open to abuse and compromise, thereby rendering the entire conduct of the exam itself incredible and lacking in merit, a development that usually culminates in half-baked or absolutely unqualified candidates coming out with amazingly high scores that eventually qualifies them for admission.
The Universities, on their own part, having discovered overtime this anomaly, upon observing the abysmally poor performances of such ‘compromised’ candidates in their class works, have so far opted for a way out by conducting another round of examination, now known as post-JAMB exams.
He who comes to equity, they say, must come with clean hands. Thus, for JAMB to confidently justify its constitutional authority of conducting qualifying exams for admission into the tertiary institutions in the country, it must look in-house and ensure that its turn-out in exams merit the marks scored. This would save the innocent candidates from having to go through the harrowing experience of writing exams twice before they are deemed qualified.
Understandably, the institutions themselves, may not be complaining so loud as such post-JAMB examinations rake in huge amounts of money for them at the end of the day. One fact that cannot be disputed and which confers legitimacy on every individual institution’s decision in this regard, is its unfettered independence and right to determine which material is good enough for admission into its courses. The prerogative of determining qualifications for admission constitutionally lies with the institutions concerned.
To this end, JAMB has to sit up, do a thorough in-house overhaul and come up with reforms that will eventually restore the needed confidence from both the tertiary institutions as well as the applying candidates. It is by so doing that this incessant crisis over cut-off marks, arbitrary distribution of candidates to institutions other than their choices, among other things, could be resolved.