By Wahab Akanji, Abuja
National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has condemned the recent downward review of cut-off marks for admission into tertiary institutions in the country.
President of the association, Mr Chinonso Obasi in a statement on Thursday in Abuja, said that such downward review of cut-off marks would encourage indolence among candidates.
Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) had at a stakeholders’ meeting on August 22, reviewed downward the cut-off marks for the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME).
The minimum cut off marks for admissions into universities was fixed at 120; polytechnics and colleges of education pegged at 100, while that of innovative enterprising institutes was fixed at 110.
The stakeholders said that institutions were at liberty to raise their cut off marks for admission above the minimum set by JAMB.
Obasi, however, argued that knowledge acquisition was a function of determination and hard work, adding aspiring students should not be encouraged to relapse into laziness.
“If over the years, students were able to work hard to meet cut off points, it does not make any logical sense to now lower the standard.
“The inability of any student to meet the cut-off points is a function of outright indolence that should not be encouraged.
“The general impression is that Nigerian graduates are not employable; therefore, lowering of standard will translate to a disastrous outcome in the future by churning out young people who cannot fit into the demands and expectations of the 21st century.
“Nigerian youths are intelligent and willing to learn but because of the enabling environment provided by tertiary institutions abroad, Nigerian students who attend school abroad always break records,’’ he said.
Obasi said that the 21st Century was driven by innovation and competitiveness, adding that lowering the entering level into tertiary institutions would kill young peoples’ zeal to step up performance.
The NANS president said that the challenges of the tertiary institutions in Nigeria were beyond the prospects of gaining admission.
He listed some of the challenges facing higher education as lack of modern day teaching facilities, low level of morale by the teaching staff, lack of adequate facilities and lack of enabling environment for effective learning.
Obasi urged concerned authorities to conduct a comparative study and analysis of policies from other climes that support functional learning in order to produce young people who would be globally competitive.