Former Minister of Education, Mrs. Oby Ezekwesili, has described the decision of the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) to reduce the cut-off mark for admission into universities to 120 as “a case of running a race from top to bottom.” She stated that rather than conduct entrance examination for university admission, JAMB should only play a regulatory role while universities are granted autonomy to conduct their entrance examinations to determine the quality of students they want to admit. Ezekweseli, in an interview with newsmen in Abuja at the weekend, said the examination body had outlived the purpose for which it was established.
She said: “I will say no and there has to be much more intensity in determining the qualifi cation attribute should be and once we do that, it will set us way back to early child education. When I see society screaming about this cut-off mark they have done, I say you are wasting tears on a symptom. “You need to go to the root of the problem and that means we need to go back to the fi rst phase in education, which is early child care, basic education and secondary education which ultimately determine the readiness of our children to university education.” Continuing, she said: “When that begins to happen, universities that are busy taking lowly class people into their system will not be places people want to go to. “But what we should ask is whether the fl oor of 120 is suffi cient to give a university the right raw materials to train in other to make them world class human capital. “I will say no and there has to be much more intensity in determining the qualifi cation attribute should be and once we do that, it will set us way back to early child education.”