By Abel Abel Inis
Africa Correspondent, SAM Daily Times

Another season for admission of candidates seeking placements into Tertiary Institutions, particularly Universities, has come, with the uncertainty, frustration, disappointment and anxiety inherent. Over 1.4M candidates sat for the 2012 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination(UTME) which is the primary entrance examination into all the institutions of higher learning in the country-Universities, Polytechnics(or Colleges of Technology) and Colleges of Education. But most of the candidates preferred admission into Universities which are about 123, owned by Federal, State, private and religious organisations. After the initial UTME, the next stage of the admission process is the Post-UTME screening test conducted by individual institutions according to their respective stipulations, mode of test/interview, examination and the required scores for the different academic programmes and courses. 'one thing not pleasing is the way some Universities conduct their tests. It has become a source of money to them instead of a means of standardising the procedures for admission. A typical example is that of a University that needed just 500 students, but called 105,000 for the test in which candidates were charged N3,000 each, which translated to around N300 million.

Raising the hopes of 105,000 candidates and dashing that of at least 104,500.' said the registrer of JAMB. Beyond this unfortunate revenue generating aspect of the test, there are other travails that trailed the exercise. The issue of limited spaces in Universities is frustrating to prospective students. This year alone, over 1.4M did the entrance examination and the bulk of them want to enter the University system that can only admit barely 20% of this number. Many of the most preferred institutions can barely admit 5% of this number. Most private universities charge between N700,000 and N1 million per session which the average Nigerian parent cannot afford. Hence the rush to Federal Universities. Transportation to examination centres has also been a major problem as many have been involved in accidents in the process while others, due to traffic have missed the test. Making payment for the test has also been a problem for candidates. Another unfortunate aspect of the test is the leakage of the question paper during the exercise at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka leading to the cancellation of the test midway by the management of the institution.


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