JAMB replies El-Rufai over preferential cut-off marks for students in the North

JAMB releases 14,620 UTME

The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has insisted it does not award “preferential cut-off marks” to students who take the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) from the northern part of Nigeria.

JAMB also said the Governor of Kaduna state, Nasir El-Rufai, was wrong in saying that UTME candidates in the North, enjoyed special privileges or lower cut-off marks not benefited by candidates in other parts of the country.

The board’s Head of Information and Media, Fabian Benjamin, made these comments in an exclusive interview with Punch on Tuesday.

Benjamin said JAMB had not been setting the minimum scores for schools since its inception in 1978 as a government agency saddled with the responsibility of “conducting matriculation examinations for entry into all universities, polytechnics and colleges of education in the country and to place suitably qualified candidates in the available places in these institutions.”

The JAMB spokesman said, “We don’t give preferential or differential cut-off marks to candidates. Candidates are admitted on the scores as defined by institutions. As for the UTME, they sit for the examination and it is what they obtain that is the basis for their selection after the policy meeting has authorised the commencement of admission.

“There are no preferential cut-off marks for anybody. What people refer to as the cut-off mark is the minimum score and each institution sets its own minimum score; it is a function of performance in the UTME for the year, subscription to programmes and institutions that is how many candidates have applied to the institutions or for the programmes. These are what push the minimum score either up or down for institutions or programmes.

“The determining factor is the subscription to a particular programme or school. If the subscription is very low, technically, it will affect the minimum score for the programme.”

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