BREAKING: FG set to extend UTME results validity period as JAMB Registration Fee becomes cumbersome, distorting and worrisome to average Nigerian

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FG set to extend UTME results validity period as JAMB Registration Fee becomes  cumbersome, distorting and worrisome to average Nigerian.

Nigerian federal lawmakers appear set to reconsider extension of the validity period of results issued by the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board, JAMB,  for admission into institutions of higher learning in the country.


A lawmaker, Tolulope Akanda-Sadipe, representing Oluyole Federal Constituency in the House Representatives recently canvassed that the one year duration of the validity of the result of the examination does not worth the trouble students go through in preparing and sitting for the examination as well as the financial burden of repeating the examination yearly.


A statement issued by the media aide to the lawmaker, Olamilekan Olusade stated that  the bill tagged: “A Bill for an Act to Amend the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (Establishment, etc.) Act, 2021 and Other Related Matters,” sought to amend the law establishing Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB).


The lawmaker said that the law should be amended to increase the validity of UTME results to three years to make JAMB function better. 

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She argued that the one-year validity period of UTME results was cumbersome, distorting and worrisome to the average Nigerian.


According to her, “Most examinations meant for entrance for academic programmes generally last more than a year. Take a look at IELTS, SATS, GRE and other recognised examinations, they are either valid for three or four years, and they have remained among the best, as they have the test of time. This bill seeks to increase the validity of JAMB results from one to three years,” Akande-Sadipe said.


She argued that the bill, if adopted and passed, would guarantee candidates’ admission into tertiary institutions three years after sitting for UTME, stressing that it would save many Nigerians from the cost of purchasing UTME forms every year. 

“The bill, if adopted and passed, will minimise the cost of running the examination and allow candidates to plan, project and decide on which of the tertiary institutions to study. 


“It will also allow candidates to determine what to study and where, after seeing their strength as well as weaknesses, thus minimising the logistical need for conducting the examination. 


“It will also reduce uncertainties surrounding applications and admissions, and the number of applicants annually without reducing the quality of the examination,” she stated.


This is not the first time the duration of the validity of the UTME results will be attracting the attention of the nation’s lawmakers. 

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In 2016, the Senate had passed a similar bill seeking to extend the validity period of  UTME results from one to three years. 


The extension followed the adoption of the report of the Senate Committee on Tertiary Institutions and TETfund then chaired by Senator Jibrin Barau. 


In amending the Act setting up the examination body, Senate then had included a section that reads: “Any examination conducted by the board pursuant to the powers conferred by this Act shall be valid for a period of three academic years from the date of the examination.”


When this provision eventually becomes law, it is implied that a candidate meeting the requirements for admission and being duly qualified shall remain so qualified for a period of three academic sessions. 


The amendment provided that a candidate awaiting admission would be given preference in the succeeding year over fresh applicants who could only become eligible when the backlog had been cleared.


Also inserted in the Act was a section which outlawed the conduct of post-UTME. 


The amendment which was in Section 5 of the Act stated that, ‘the matriculation examination provided by the board shall be the sole examination required for administration and entry into all universities, polytechnics and colleges of education (by whatever name called) to the exclusion of any other institution or body.’ 


Shortly after the passage of the bill, JAMB’s Registrar, Prof Is-haq Oloyede was said to have appealed to the Senate to rescind its decision to extend validity period of the UTME results issued by the board. 

Oloyede was said to have argued that the move by the senators was capable of impeding the progress recorded so far by the examination body. 


 The senate was said to have conceded to suspend further actions on the act.

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Curiously, however, the House of Representatives appears set to reconsider the controversial proposal thereby resuscitating the old debate over the propriety or otherwise of the move. 


An educationist, Mr. Ahmed Oyediran expressed surprise at the sudden volte-face of the National Assembly over the matter. Oyediran contended that extending the validity period of UTME results would be counterproductive and engender more problem than it intends to solve.


“According to him, “the current arrangement of one year validity period of JAMB results makes it less problematic for universities to offer admission to candidates with high scores ahead of  those with lower scores. 


“The new proposal will erode the practice of rewarding excellence because if, for instance, a student scores 235, but is unlucky to secure admission in the current year, such a student will have to be considered first for admission the following year even when there are fresh candidates who score far higher. How then do we intend to encourage students to aim at breaking previous records when they know that candidates with lower grades in the preceding year will be offered admission first?” Oyediran queried.         


There are those who opined that the declining reading culture among students in the country will be further worsened if the proposal becomes a reality. 


A school teacher, Mrs Judith Anele believes that any attempt to extend the validity of the JAMB results for admission into tertiary institution will further affect the culture of reading among the students. 


She argued that the desire to pass examination ranks top among reasons students read nowadays,  adding that allowing students the opportunity to use a UTME result in seeking admission for three years, will make them relax. 


“As long as they (students) know that their results can be used to apply for admission for three years, they will just relax and forget about their studies probably until it dawns on them that they may have to re-sit for another examination or until they get admitted,” she said.  


Others who opposed the proposal to increase the duration of the validity of JAMB results to three years argued that the idea is antithetical with the ideas behind the setting up of the examination body. 


They argued that since UTME is a ranking examination rather than a qualifying examination, it only makes sense that the results issued by the body should only be valid for one academic session. 


A parent, Mrs Baliqis Atere said that the idea behind the proposal to extend the validity of the examination results must have been influenced by lack of proper understanding of the purpose the UTME is meant to serve. 


Her words: “We need to understand that UTME is different from Senior School Certificate Examinations, SSCE, conducted by the West African Examination Council, WAEC, and the National Examination Council, NECO. The results issued by these two examination bodies are what qualify students to aspire to seek admission into tertiary institutions while UTME result is used to rank students for admission since it is impossible to admit every candidate who applies for admission in a particular year. 

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“So, allowing students to use the result of a ranking examination for a period of three years will violate the rule of fairness because the standard of questions set in two or three different years are not always the same. I remember 10 or 15 years ago it was very unusual to see students scoring 300 and above marks in JAMB. But today, students score 300 and more in JAMB. This points to disparity in the standards of questions set by the examination body from time to time.”


But besides the the need to relieve parents the financial burden of having to register their wards for UTME every year, the stress of registering for the examination is yet another argument supporters of the new proposal are putting forward. 


Following the inclusion of the National Identity Number, NIN, as part of the requirements for the registration for the examination, intending candidates for the examination have to undergo the stressful process of securing their NINs before facing the task of registering for the exam. 


A parent, Mr. Nathaniel Eguaroje, said that it took his son three days before he finally registered for the examination. 


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