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The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) conducts the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME), a hurdle that students have to scale after passing the O’level examinations. Now, a major issue in the polity is the low cut-off marks recently announced by JAMB.

The cut-off marks, in my opinion, might reduce the academic standard of our tertiary institutions if conscious steps are not taken by education stakeholders in the country to prevail on JAMB to reconsider its stance.

The cut-off marks are too low. They do not reflect the expected standard in our educational system. This, in my view, might make our dream of being on a par with the advanced economies a mirage.

Using 120 marks as the cut-off point for university admission and 100 marks for polytechnics and colleges of education may spell doom for the future of the younger generations if caution is not taken. The current issue will not help prospective students as they may not want to study hard for higher scores in the JAMB examination.

It is, therefore, incumbent on relevant education stakeholder to revisit the issue of cut-off marks so as not to endanger the education system in the country.

Although the post-UTME was cancelled in 2016, the screening exercise which commenced in all higher institutions of learning in the country could only absorb 40 per cent of the prospective students.

For how long should we continue to gamble with the destiny of future generations? The average student should be able to score at least 200 marks out of 400 marks in a well-structured examination like the UTME, particularly students who made five or more credits in the West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (WASSCE), including core subjects like Mathematics and English.

I appeal to the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, and other stakeholders in the education sector to revisit the issue with outmost priority so as to prevent total decay.

Also, the National Assembly needs to intervene in the matter by coming up with realistic policies that will breathe life into the declining standard of our education

– Victoria Anikinami, Kwara State Polytechnic, Ilorin.

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