Joint Action Coalition of Civil Society Organization has warned the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to stop distracting the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) with its recent call for the scrapping of the examination board.
The warning was made on 21st of April, 2017 during a press conference in Abuja by the Executive Director, Mr. Sabo Odehsaying, after studying the situation with a view to ascertaining if ASUU’s intervention in the way JAMB conducts its major or mock examination is altruistic as they make it appear,all that can be surmised from ASUU’s interference in the recent mock examination conducted by JAMB that they (ASUU) have resumed their efforts to hijack the education sector for their own purposes. He thus warned that if ASUU is allowed to dictate how JAMB does it work, it is a matter of time before the lecturers set their sight on WAEC, Secondary and even primary schools.
According to MrOdeh, “This misadventure could be excused by some people as being driven by good intentions. A note of warning must however be sounded to such people that they must go back in recent history to find out those behind the admission rackets and admission syndicates that were forced out of business when JAMB reformed its processes. The clamour by ASUU that each university should be allowed to handle its own admission processes is an open call to empower these admission syndicated operated by no other persons but ASUU members.”
“Heeding ASUU’s ill-conceived call would send us back to the problems that JAMB was set up to solve. In the years that preceded JAMB, it was common to see some candidates secure admission into as many as five universities which implies that four slots would we wasted as the student can only resume in one school while several other candidates are made to wait another year at home because these slots have been wasted”, he said.
MrOdeh further gave a brief background to what he described as ASUU’s craftiness to the point of appearing to be doing the Nigerians a favour via its incessant strike which Nigerian students have continue to be permanent victims. He lamented the pains caused by ASUU strikes as the Union continues to frustrate interventions that would re-establish Nigerian university as centre of excellence where youths can pass through and favourably compete with their contemporaries from any other top flight institutions on earth.
According to MrOdeh, “Let us quickly note that even in those days, ASUU was crafty to the point of appearing to be doing the Nigerians a favour. The bases on which it crippled the university education system at that time centred around improved funding for universities, improved welfare of its members, demand for payment of outstanding salaries, allowances and arrears, and in other instances to demand the reinstating of errant or truant ASUU members who might have been laid off for breaching terms of employment.”
“Even at a time when Nigerians are making sacrifices to change the way we do things so that the country can make progress and put the ugly past of corruption behind us, it appears ASUU is singing a discordant tune to safeguard a tradition of corruption in institutions of higher learning. Right from when the Minster of Education, MallamAdamuAdamu was appointed, ASUU did not hide its allergy to reform as it kicked against every decision announced as part of reform in the education sector like the replacement of Vice Chancellors on which it vehemently challenged the minister. Subsequent appointments into agencies in the education sector were cause of bitterness for ASUU and its leadership, which created the impression that some of its members and leaders would have preferred that they were the ones appointed. It also prompted suggestions that the unionists were bitter over the good fortunes of persons they had scores to settle with,” he said.
The Coalition of Civil Organisation further praised that the embrace of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), coupled with other policy direction which it believes has helped JAMB make changes that increased the admission chances of applicants. According to the Coalition, it has for instance streamlined the options of schools that candidates have based on careful analysis of trends and this innovation is also responsible for the curtailing of the way ASUU members used to manipulate admissions while side-lining JAMB.
The Joint Action Coalition of Civil Society Organization further endorsed the on-going reform of JAMB under its Registrar, Professor IshaqOloyede saying, reform of the admission system is the way to go especially now that all sectors are engaged in one form of upgrade or the other to comply with the digital era.