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Low Capacity Utilisation Robs Candidates Of Admission Spaces

Nigeria Student Forum / Educational News / Low Capacity Utilisation Robs Candidates Of Admission Spaces (197) Views

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Adelani Temiloluwa
School Of Nursing Ondo
Nursing Student
300Level, Nigeria.

Survey has revealed that Nigeria may not, after all, require additional universities and other levels of tertiary education as the system presently has over 400,000 unfilled admission vacancies.

This is coming on sidelines of figures and statistics made available by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) that identified low capacity utilisation of existing tertiary institutions in the country as a major problem responsible for poor access of candidates to tertiary education.

A study done by DAILY INDEPENDENT has revealed that many qualified candidates who could have secured admission spaces in universities and institutions outside their places of origin and residents have missed such opportunities by failing to explore other institutions with capacity that is grossly underutilised due to low patronage.

According to available statistics, a total of allotted quota to varsities, polytechnics/monotechnics, colleges of education and innovation enterprise institutions for the 2017 admission stood at 1,025,487. Of these spaces, the quota utilized, representing the number of candidates enrolled was 566,641, while unutilised quota at the different levels of tertiary education stood at 457,846.

Furthermore, the study also showed that many candidates who could have taken advantage of the federal admission policy based on merit, catchment area and persons from the Educationally Disadvantaged States ( ELDS) have missed out of such opportunities that have eroded the capacity of tertiary institutions across the country.

According to the Federal Government stipulated guidelines for the consideration of admission to Nigeria tertiary institutions, JAMB revealed that in 2017, Ogun State for the 2016/2017 had 21 universities that fall within its Catchment Area based on 45 per cent for merit, catchment area 35 per cent and 20 per cent for ELDS.

An appraisal of the utilisation of the admission policy of catchment area by candidates from Ogun State between 2013 to 2015 academic sessions was 189,874 in all, but candidates that sought for admission from the state only utilised 46,352 spaces leaving a marked difference of 143,522 unutilised.

Apparently challenging the clamour and justification for the establishment of additional universities and other levels of tertiary education, JAMB revealed that a total of 119,878 vacancies were not utilised in federal, state and private universities across the country; 39,404 in polytechnics, 8,467 in Innovation Enterprise Institutions, while colleges of education led the pack with 290,027 for the 2017 admission exercise.

An explanation of existing admission implies that 45% of the available spaces are reserved for candidates with very high marks. They are given first consideration for first choices of course and institution before other candidates.

The catchment policy on admission reserved 25 per cent for candidates within the geographical and socio-cultural area contiguous to the institution of the candidates’ applications. Some of the federal universities have all the states as their catchment areas, whereas other federal universities have their neighbouring states as catchment areas. Invariably, all state-owned institutions have all local government areas as their catchment areas.

Reacting to the development, Mr. Olayinka Amuni, Registrar and Registrar to Council, Lagos State University, Ojo, Lagos, attributed the challenge to the paucity of fund available to run institutions.

“It is a problem of finance. I will not support a situation where we would bring candidates into the system without requisite facilities to adequately take care of them. That was why the Federal Government some years back, came up with the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) to provide relevant infrastructure for the system to grow and expand.

“There is a need for Nigeria to diversify from mono-economy to an economy that would generate income from other sources to provide funds to build, develop infrastructure within and outside the university system.”

Speaking further on the challenge that has put pressure on parents and candidates seeking for further studies, Amuni expresses hope that the government would wake up to its responsibility and address the issue that will ultimately lead to a reduction in the number of aspiring Nigerians that are not able to secure admission for tertiary education within the country.

Without advocating for fellow institutions to bite more than they can probably chew, the LASU Registrar cautioned varsities and other levels of tertiary education in the country to adhere strictly to whatever capacity allocated by the supervising agencies of government.

But for universities, we need to adhere strictly to whatever carrying capacity allotted. Unfortunately, some students will be affected. Maybe what we need to do is to begin into inculcating entrepreneurship into secondary school education so that before students secure admission into the university they have some means of developing a skill on what can be done on their own.

“Outside the rush for university education, we should also explore other sectors of higher education like technical education so that it will reduce the pressure of admission on universities. I am not saying that the government should cease to develop varsities but let us have other quality options to reduce the pressure on the university.

Responding to why parents pay for the education of their children outside the country, Zubair who responded instantly said places like ‘the United States of America, United Kingdom, Ghana and other countries because they can guarantee their safety’.

“If the government says vacancies exist in Nigerian institutions to accommodate all let them address security matter, quality of education, provision of infrastructure, adequate funding and payment of salaries and allowances due to lecturers at the right time,” he added.

Prof. Ishaq Oloyede in his submission on the policy called for a new admission policy that will give rise to the nationalisation of localised National Institutions.

He said: “More poignantly the need to review the formula to make our institutions more National as envisaged in the inclusion of Catchment Area in the criteria which has been so abused”.

Source: https://independent.ng/low-capacity-utilisation-robs-candidates-of-admission-spaces/

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