The Senate on Wednesday suspended the amendment of the Act establishing the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) so as to allow for adequate consultation with stakeholders.
The upper chamber had earlier ratified the extension of the validity of the results of the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examinations (UTME) being conducted by JAMB to three years.
According to the senate, the decision was granted to lessen the financial burden of the examination on parents, students and JAMB.
Confirming the suspension, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Education (Basic and Secondary), Senator Aliyu Wamakko, told reporters during a visit to the headquarters of JAMB in Abuja, that the senate would not approve laws that would impede the progress of any institution.
Represented by Senator Ajayi Boroffice, Wamakko said:
“Your JAMB result is only valid for one year and we thought it will be better for it to be valid at least for three years. It will reduce the burden on the parents, on the students themselves even on the institution that is conducting the test. I think it is what is good for all of us and I don’t think the public will reject it.
“As I said we don’t make laws for an individual or for the senate. We make law for the country in the interest of all of us. A bill must not necessarily be at the convenience of a particular organization, having said that, since we don’t want to make a law that will impede the progress of any institution we are bound to listen to what they are saying. We are bound to listen to them.”
“I think JAMB has made so much progress over the years and all we can say is that they should continue to improve on their performance because the lives of millions of Nigerians will depend on them and I hope the confidence they will repose in them they will be able to justify it. We are happy with our visit, we are happy with the registrar, we are happy with the management and I think we are happy with ourselves too,” he added.
In his reaction, JAMB Registrar, Is-haq Oloyede, lauded the senate for heeding to its appeal to suspend the amendment of its Act.
The Registrar also called on the members of the House of Representatives and the Executive to follow the footstep of the senate by giving room for consultation with stakeholders.
He said: “I believe that they must have considered so many things before coming to that conclusion at that time but my appeal is to the other legs – the House of Representatives and to the President that it will do more harm to the students than good.
“One problem I find is that when there is a problem rather than studying the problem and look for strategy to solving them we will jump into conclusion which is more dangerous than the original problem.
“When you look at the issue of three years somebody mentioned that that is what is done in Britain and US. There is a basic difference. They are conducting aptitude test and aptitude test will last longer. We are conducting achievement test and you can’t compare the two. If you want to go in that direction why not but there will be change of infrastructure, everything will be in place. You don’t midway into a system.
“For instance when you make that type of law you have not contacted NUC to say ‘NUC change your syllabus.’ You want to admit somebody you conduct the exam today the intension is to test the ability of the student to cope with university education at the 100 Level for instance.
If they change the syllabus our exam must change and that will not synchronize with your three years. You will having a set of students who are tested for a programme different from the one they are doing.”