By Dayo Adesulu
Former Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission, NUC, Professor Peter Okebukola, has said that Nigerian universities deviated from the initial agreement NUC had with Vice-Chancellors in 2004 when it introduced post-UTME to screen candidates on oral interview and written essay.
He also said that the present position as revealed to him by the Vice-Chancellors, after their meeting with Malam Adamu Adamu last Thursday, was that the Minister had directed that universities should no longer conduct the same type of test as JAMB, but should be free to further subject candidates to screening to meet their local peculiarities.
Okebukola, who spoke exclusively with Vanguard, lamented that universities had since deviated from the initial agreement of post-UTME, noting that the 2004 model had a screening component which was agreed with all vice-chancellors to be through oral interview and essay which JAMB assessment did not cover.
The former NUC Scribe expressed joy in the scrapping of post-UTME, adding that it now took the universities system back to the original model of post-UME which NUC initiated in 2004 while he served as Executive Secretary.
While expatiating on reasons for the introduction of post-UTME in 2004, he explained that the NUC and the vice-chancellors discovered that more than ever before, they needed to admit into the universities, secondary school leavers, from the large pool, including those who have at least two characteristics.
The first characteristic, he noted, was to ensure that admission seekers attained minimum cognitive competence in the relevant subjects in the discipline they wished to study; and second to test their competence in written and oral English, critical thinking and ability to present ideas in logical sequence befitting of undergraduates in Africa’s most-expansive and well-regarded university system.
‘’JAMB’s UTME targets only the first characteristic; while the university-level screening should measure the second,’’ he said.