JAMB Cut-Off Points Should be Subjected to Public Debate – Oloyede

…says we must change our ways of doing things

The management of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) led by Prof. Is-haq Oloyede, has resolved to ensure that the change agenda of President Muhammadu Buhari, concerning education is actualized in no distance time.

This he said will be made possible through reforms currently going on in the Board.  Oloyede maintained that the Board will continue to make reforms that will carry the interest of every Nigerian child irrespective of whether poor, rural settlers etc. He has expressed concern over the fact that most policies are geared towards accommodating the interest of the elite only and leaving the downtrodden to suffer unjustly.

In view of the above the Board has cancelled the use of scratch cards which were hitherto sold only by banks in the cities to pin vending which can be obtained by candidates anywhere using their phones, Web payment,  online quick teller; ATM payment,  quick teller mobile application and Bank branch (cash cards) etc. This is to make the services easily accessible, discourage fraudulent acts associated with the cards system and to conform with global best practice.

The Registrar also disclosed that the Board has critically looked at the process of regularizing candidates and found alot of lapses which it cannot tolerate in its drive to effect positive change towards enhancing the fortune of tertiary education in Nigeria.

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In its efforts to discourage this abused and perhaps stop it permanently, the Joint Admissions and  matriculation Board (JAMB) has designed a template to be completed on-line by candidates and  endorsed by the Vice-Chancellors, Rectors, Provosts or Registrars of the candidates institutions  who will then be submitted to the Board’s Offices nearer to the institution for the Registrar’s approval subject to available evidence.  The Registrar may deny approval if sufficient and convincing reasons are not given. The public is to note that all admissions are done by the academic board of tertiary institutions and submitted to the Board who ensures that the admissions meet set requirements by proprietors of these institutions and government criteria.  As such there is no basis for regularization. The Board only design this process to clear any backlog as it doesn’t intend to continue with regularization exercise again.

The Registrar also call on all notable stakeholders to rethink the issue of cut of marks. He is calling for a national debate on the propriety of cut off marks. He said institutions should be allowed to determine the kind of candidates they want.  He argues that the uniformity of cut of marks doesn’t make any sense when colleges and Polytechnics admit for NCE and Diplomas while Universities admit for Degrees and yet we subject them to the same cut off marks thereby starving these tier of institutions from admitting  candidates who if not engage may likely become easy prey to social vices.

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Oloyede expressed worry over the class opportunities as it affects the distribution of admission resources. The rich have multiple opportunities which include going abroad for studies while the poor  only have the opportunity of struggling for the scarce spaces here. He said the rich  children write JAMB and if they do not get the required cut-off marks,  they are taken out of the country for studies abroad. They come back and they are integrated while the poor can’t afford it and are forever denied the opportunity of education. In his words “let institutions admit what they want according to their needs”.

This mean that if a University want 250 as minimum cut off marks why not and if another want less so be it. If a Polytechnics like Yaba want 250 let them admit and if Gboko polytechnics in Benue State where I come from  want less than 200 let them admit. Institutions should be known for their individual quality and not collective standard. This will foster positive competition for the overall good of our tertiary institutions. The Registrar wants Nigerians to look at this critically for the Board to take action that will be for the good of our education.


Fabian Benjamin, Ph.D
Head of Information