2018 UTME:  ‘Cut-off mark not to favour any state’

Contrary to people’s view about the new cut-off marks of the 2018 unified tertiary matriculation examinations, JAMB said it was not lowered to favour any state.

Some Nigerians alleged that the 2018 UTME cut-off points were lowered to favour some educationally disadvantaged states of the North.

The board, at its 2018 stakeholders’ meeting recently held in Osun state, pegged the cut-off mark for the 2018 UTME for universities at 140, while polytechnics and colleges of education were pegged at 120 and 100 respectively.

Criticisms have therefore trailed the policy as many people accused JAMB of favouring northern states, but the examination body said the policy was more favourable to candidates and institutions in the southern part of the country.

Reacting to the allegation, JAMB’s head of media, Dr. Fabian Benjamin said, “It is not true that the policy was introduced to favour the educationally less disadvantage states. For instance, the cut-off mark for Medicine at Obafemi Awolowo University is 200, but that of Bayero University, Kano is 250. The policy favours the universities in the southern part of the country and the statistics are there for everyone to check.”

Benjamin argued that the reduction of the cut-off marks was not an indication of failure in Nigeria’s education sector.

“It will be wrong for anybody to say that the cut-off point for an examination that is conducted for candidates determines the standard of education. Contrary to the complaints of some stakeholders, JAMB does not compel higher institutions to admit candidates with the seemingly ridiculous cut-off mark.

“It was only agreed by stakeholders to provide institutions with a benchmark; universities could raise the marks above 140 but not more than 200.”

In 2017, JAMB pegged the cut-off mark for universities at 180. Some universities rejected the move as they conducted post-UTME test for only candidates who scored 200 and above in their UTME.

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