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Aderinola Bunmi
LAUTECH
Science Laboratory Technology
Aspirant, Nigeria.

The National President, Association of Tutorial School Operators, Oladotun Sodunke, on Monday appealed to the Federal Government to increase funding for tertiary institutions in the country to enable them cope with the increasing number of admission seekers.

Sodunke, who lamented the low-carrying capacities of tertiary institutions, said admission racketeering was responsible for the rise in examination malpractice.

Speaking during the inauguration of the Ekiti State Chapter of ATSO in Ado-Ekiti, he said the association had joined a larger family to fight examination malpractice and to bring integrity into the tutorial schools business, in addition to sanitising the education sector.

Sodunke distanced members of the ATSO from examination malpractice, saying, “ATSO has been working in the past seven years to restore sanity and integrity to the system by adopting zero tolerance for examination malpractice.

“We have done this across Nigeria and we are still working. We are collaborating with the police, the Department of State Services and other security agencies to weed out the bad eggs in the system and sanction them.”

While unveiling ATSO’s plan for candidates, he added, “We want them to get admission, but the problem is that the carrying capacity of schools is low and we are imploring the Federal Government through the Tertiary Education Trust Fund to pump in more funds into universities so that they can meet the level of which they are established. They are admitting far below their expected level.

“What we are saying is that they should work on the carrying capacity of schools. If they increase the number of candidates admitted by the schools, the cut-off marks for admission will now be reasonable. Candidates that score 240 upwards will be able to gain admission.

“Admission malpractice is not perpetrated by the poor, but by the high and the mighty. Who are the people on the second admission list, third list, VC’s list and more? They are are less qualified candidates who did not meet the standard for admission.

“So, we are fighting against admission racketeering and malpractice which is what leads to examination malpractice. Admission racketeering and malpractice on the part of the high and mighty will lead to increase in cut-off marks and increase in cut-off marks will make students want to look for other ways to meet the cut-off marks,” he said.

Reiterating the association’s commitment to zero tolerance for examination malpractice, he continued, “ATSO has rolled out a lot of programmes to encourage students and our teeming youth to believe that the only way to achieve excellence in examinations is to study vigorously.

“A brainchild of this association is the Most Brilliant Students contest in Nigeria, an educational programme that encourages students to study hard. During the maiden edition in 2013, we presented a 16-year-old boy with a brand new car. He became a star by being brilliant. He is today a first class student in the Engineering Faculty at the University of Lagos.

“The same programme will be rolled out this year. The objective is to convince students that there is nothing good in examination malpractice. This year’s edition will hold in February, the grand finale will be held in Lagos on February 27,” he said.

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