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Tertiary Admission: 1.3Million Candidates may Lose out in 2020/2021 Session

Written by Abigael Ibikunle

JAMB has informed that no less than 1,300,000 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination candidates may lose their admission into universities and polytechnics in 2020.

This is over the delay in the Senior Secondary Certificate Examinations that caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Candidates likely to be affected are those who used awaiting results to sit for the 2020 UTME, which was held between March 14 and March 22 – a few weeks into the COVID-19 crisis.

The West African Examinations Council and the National Examinations Council, which were expected to have held their examinations in April and May 2020 respectively, are yet to do so. Also, as a result of schools closure since March due to COVID-19.

The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board held a policy meeting with heads of tertiary institutions in the country last Tuesday. They announced 120 and 160 cut-off marks for admission into polytechnics and universities respectively for the 2020/2021 academic session.

It was also disclosed at the policy meeting that admission processes would begin in August 2020, with candidates who already had their O-Level results.

JAMB Registrar, Prof Is-haq Oloyede, informed that candidates who used awaiting results would only be considered for admission upon the uploads of their results on the board’s website.

According to the JAMB Policy Guidelines presented by Oloyede, the figures of awaiting results candidates, that met the cut-offs for universities and polytechnics are over 1.3 million.

This is, however, unfortunate that the inability of WAEC and NECO to hold their SSCE as a result of the closure of schools may likely hinder the UTME candidates from gaining admissions.

The presentation reads, “On the 2020 UTME cumulative performance statistics, 1,889,801 candidates got 120 and above; the total number of candidates with Ordinary Level results uploaded are 536,813 while 1,352,988 are candidates with awaiting results.

“Of the 1,889,801, a total number of 1,329,289 got 160 and above; of the 1,329,289, a total number of 398,984 candidates uploaded their O-Level results and 930,305 is the number of candidates awaiting results.

“No admission can be initiated from JAMB; it must come from the institutions using the Central Admission Processing System process.

“In this process, the institution’s Admission Officer proposes a candidate; then, the Head of Institution recommends the candidate; furthermore, the JAMB Desk Officer approves recommendation and finally, the candidate accepts or rejects.

“After the uploading of o’Level by a candidate, any admission to be done must consider him or her. If any institution requests for opening of change for programme or institution, it must consider all the candidates who have uploaded.”

Institutions were obligated by the board to notify it if they were having “COVID-19 — induced delay or no Ordinary Level results from many candidates.”

The NECO Head of Information, Azeez Sanni, when contacted, said that, the council was waiting for a directive from the government as “different stakeholders are also deliberating on the matter and will come up with a solution.”

The Head of Public Affairs, WAEC, Damian Ojijeogu, informed that, the council was ready to conduct the O’level examination.

“We were already prepared to conduct the examination before the lockdown,” he said in a text message.

The Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, represented by the Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba, in his statement, instructed JAMB and tertiary institutions to proceed with the conduct of 2020/2021 admissions.

Nwajiuba stated that admission processes will likely commence in August based on the guidelines released by JAMB.

“As major stakeholders, we must jointly come up with reactions that would realign our programmes to these new realities. Whatever arrangement that the country comes up with in the long run, it will surely accommodate those who will be taking the examination when the opportunity to do so is worked out,” the minister had said.


About the author

Abigael Ibikunle

Associate Correspondent at Edugist, Abigael Ibikunle is a Mathematics Education graduate. A professional Journalist and a passionate writer. She can be reached via:


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