Following an order by the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu to tertiary institutions in the country that have conducted post-UTME examination to immediately refund money taken from candidates, authority of University of Benin (UNIBEN) has suspended a planned test.
It will be recalled that the minister has also declared that post-UTME examinations already taken are null and void; threatening that any institution caught still conducting the examination under any guise would be sanctioned.
The minister who made this position known on Monday, in a press statement issued by Ben Bem Goong, Deputy Director Press and Public Relations, had earlier given directive to stop the post-UTME examinations nearly a month ago.
Coming barely 24 hours after Mallam Adamu instructed the nation’s tertiary institutions to stop the conduct of the exercise, Mr. Michael Osasuyi, the Public Relations Officer of the university told newsmen on Tuesday that the suspension was with immediate effect and in compliance with the Federal Government’s directive.
“We are suspending this exercise now, in compliance with the Federal Government directive. We are suspending forthwith,” Osasuyi said.
Report has it that prospective candidates whose tests were supposed to take place on Monday and Tuesday had showed up for the exercise before they were informed of the suspension.
However, the university’s spokesman called for calm, saying that the institution would communicate further information on the suspension to its prospective students.
“They (candidates) should just be calm and rest assured that the University ?of Benin will not in any way flout the Federal Government’s directive and will not in any way undermine their choice for the university,” he said.
On the other hand, the fresh instruction had thrown panic on the Ijagba campus of the Tai Solarin University of Education(TASUED) that had already conducted the test about two weeks ago.
In the test that was written by thousands of prospective students were made to pay N7,200 for first choice candidates and N10,200 for categories of candidates seeking change of institution to TASUED.
Effort to reach Professor Oluyemisi Obilade, Vice Chancellor of the institution did yield result as her contact lines could not be reached.
Meanwhile, Mr Olubunmi Ajibade, Deputy Registrar, Information, Ekiti State University (EKSU) said that the institution had fully complied with the instruction by merely screening candidates results and verification of JAMB results.
It will be recalled that the minister had in the statement on Monday explained that students who have already been offered admission by JAMB may be screened by the institutions, but this must not involve the conduct of any other entry examination as they can only be screened by verifying their certificates and not through the conduct of fresh examinations.
The minister stated that it is unnecessary to subject students to further examinations when they have been offered admissions by JAMB since they will still have to go through between eight or 12-semester examinations throughout their four to six years study in the institutions.
The minister, therefore, directed the National Universities Commission (NUC) and appropriate departments in the Ministry to communicate the directive to relevant agencies and institutions to ensure strict compliance.
“Those who have already advertised for the conduct of the Post-UTME under any guise should stop the exercise immediately as any university caught conducting Post-UTMNE will face appropriate sanctions. If any tertiary Institution has already conducted Post-UTME, such an exercise stands annulled and money taken from such candidates must be refunded immediately”, the Minister said.
The minister said through the statement that it was important to emphasise the directive in order to ensure that no stakeholder is left in doubt as to government’s position on the matter.
He affirmed that the responsibility for admission into public tertiary institutions lies solely with JAMB and under no circumstance whatsoever, should anybody or institution takes over that responsibility by proxy.
“The ban is with immediate effect, and under no circumstance should any institution violate the directive”.
“Any educational institution after secondary education is regarded as a tertiary institution. Therefore all tertiary institutions, Polytechnics, Colleges of Education, Universities or by whatever name it is called after secondary education must be subjected to admission through the JAMB. At the end of probationary admission by JAMB, the candidates can be cleared (screened) for final admission. For any institution with a shortfall in admission, such institution can revert to JAMB for supplementary admission”.
“Clearing in this case (screening) entails only the verification of certificates of the candidates, JAMB scores, and any other physical examination to ensure that such candidates are not cultists. After this, the candidates are qualified for matriculation.
“Such screening should be at no cost to the parents or students and should be done upon resumption in order to avoid unnecessary travels in search of admission”, the minister said,
For secondary school leavers who are seeking admission into the tertiary institutions, Malam Adamu said that subjecting them to too many examinations all in one year, is traumatic, exploitative and absolutely unnecessary.
This is besides the cost of travelling, hotel accommodation and examination fees that parents have to incur in their bid to secure admission for their ward.