FOUNDER of Afe Babalola University (ABUAD), Ado Ekiti, Chief Afe Babalola, says that the post-Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (Post-UTME) remains a veritable quality control tool in admission of students to various tertiary institutions in Nigeria.
He also believes the registrar of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Professor Ishaq Oloyede, has restored the credibility of the test administration by the board.
Chief Babalola spoke in an interview he granted JAMB Weekly Bulletin, obtained from the board’s headquarters in Abuja.
He said: “The post-UTME has proved to be a veritable quality control measure which I believe has worked and is working well. For example, the first Post-UTME we conducted at the University of Lagos, where I was then the pro-chancellor and chairman of council, yielded positive dividends.
“There was this student, with a very impressive JAMB result, who applied to study Law. Since English Literature was and is still central to the admission of students to study Law, he was asked if he knew a novel called ‘Things Fall Apart’ and he answered in the affirmative. We then asked him if he knew the author.
The hall was filled with consternation when the young man named the late General Sani Abacha as the author. With this scenario, it became crystal clear that Nigerian universities should be rid of dunces and undesirable elements who parade compromised and procured results.”
According to him, this singular example underscores the place and import of the post-UTME, noting that as a result of the introduction of the post-UTME, the number of students asked to withdraw because they could neither defend the high marks they were parading or cope academically upon admission dropped considerably.
Babalola also noted that those who were cutting corners to get jumbo marks in the UTME also reduced while JAMB and its results became more credible.
“With the innovative measures introduced by Professor Dibu Ojerinde, the then JAMB helmsman, to re-invent the examination body, its results have become a lot more credible. It is also commendable that things have become even better with the advent of the present leadership of the board.