Lawmaker, NGO Seek Quick Passage of JAMB Validity Bill

A Federal lawmaker, Tolulope Akande-Sadipe and a NGO, Speak Out Africa, have reinforced the need for the pending bill on the validity of United Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) to be made top priority in the 10th Assembly.

This came to the fore during an online seminar, held on Monday, where the Lawmaker argued that the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board, JAMB, should not be a revenue generating agency for the government.

She argued further that UTME, supervised by JAMB, should not be an examination that will be conducted every year.

The Lawmaker, who represents Oluyole Federal Constituency reiterated that JAMB should not be assessed on the revenue generated to the coffers of the federal government, rather it should be assessed on the quality of examination they give.

Akande-Sadipe said after laying the amendment on the bill at the floor of the house, and it is passed for an assent by the President, UTME will have a validity of 3 years.

The Bill, according to Akande-Sadipe, seeks to increase the validity of results of UTME from one year to five years. However, it has been reduced to three years.

Making comparison with examinations across the globe, Akande-Sadipe noted that the tenures/validity of other internationally recognized examinations last up to two-five years.

She referred participants to examinations of international standards such as GMAT, GRE, IELTS, TETOFL, SAT, MCAT, PTE, and USMLE.

The Oluyole representative said she is passionate about the bill, adding that many are victims of the JAMB yearly tests.

Akande-Sadipe argued that a student who passes UTME should not sit for the examination repeatedly, rather the result should be valid for about 3 years.

Her words: “I am not asking that the exam tenure be extended in cases where people fail. I am asking that it should be extended when people pass.”

She queried, “In Nigeria, every year you take JAMB and you don’t get into Uni, you have to repeat JAMB. Why?”

She said “168, 613 students scored 200 and above in the 2021 UTME; 236,936 scored 190 and above; 327, 624 scored 180, but less than 100 students got admitted into Tertiary institutions. Of the 600 eligible applicants, only about 100 representing 16.67% of candidates got their admission uploaded on the Central Admission Processing System (CAPS).”

“I sponsored the bill, March 16, 2022, on the floor of the House of Representatives, but because of the magnitude of bills that go to the floor of the House, the bill has gotten to the committee level and we are almost there”, she said.

“I pray the bill becomes a reality. If it becomes a reality, it will take away a lot of hardship away from many homes”, she said.

Akande-Sadipe said some of the arguments against the bill include: JAMB is a revenue generating agency; disguised unemployment and the dichotomy between achievement test and aptitude test.

However, she said that UTME should be a test to assess one’s readiness to go to the university, adding that a candidate’s readiness should not change after attempting and passing it, once.

Speaking on behalf of participants, the convener, Speak-out Africa, Ms. Agwu Blessing Newest commended Akande-Sadipe for championing a course that will be of benefit to the less-privileged in the society.

The NGO described Akande-Sadipe as an instrument championing a good course for poor Nigerian students, who have been a victim of yearly JAMB examinations.

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