The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board on Tuesday explained that the Federal Government gave approval for the existence of state-owned tertiary institutions in order to address issues surrounding the “shortage of admission spaces.”
Speaking in Abuja during a one-day retreat on the state of education in Nigeria, organised by the Education Correspondents Association of Nigeria, the registrar of the board, Professor Ishaq Oloyede, noted the duty of JAMB as a regulatory agency was to set minimum benchmarks for institutions.
Oloyede who was represented by the Director of public affairs of the board, Dr. Fabian Benjamin, called for the introduction of a National Education Insurance Scheme to address the problem of access, especially in state universities.
“The Federal Government put in place state institutions to address the need of admission access because one of the major problems is spaces in our institutions and most candidates cannot afford these institutions.
“The country should be able to support the education scheme whereby certain percentage can be paid by the FG so that subscribers can attend private institutions,” he said.
On the issue of lowering cut-off marks, he said the cut-off mark was a minimum benchmark that institutions must not go below which did not affect education standards.
Also speaking at the event, the Registrar of the Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria, Professor Josiah Ajiboye, urged Nigerians to stop portraying the education sector in bad light in the global scene.
According to him, Nigerians should always emphasise the positive values of the sector.
He said in spite of the challenges the education sector was faced with, the quality of graduates produced could compete favourably all over the world.
“Nigeria’s education is among the best all over the world as our graduates are sorted after globally.
“Nigeria’s education is among one of the best in the world as of today, if not, why are Nigerian professionals going outside the country?
“You see thousands of Nigerians everywhere you go; Nigerian graduates are well sorted out for.
“Even as of today, if you look at the quality of our graduates, they are people that can compete with other people all over the world. People will always tell you the standard is falling but who is setting the standards?
“Even this year alone, I have signed letters of professional standing for over 260 Nigerians going to teach in Canada alone and as of this morning; we have letter from the United Kingdom from head of their teaching council.”