ASUP decries discriminatory JAMB cut-off marks
• Faults composition of governing councils
THE Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) has frowned at the introduction of different Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) examination cut-off marks for candidates seeking admission into the polytechnics and universities.
Speaking in Abuja, the President of ASUP, Chibuzo Asomugha, said the policy is discriminatory against polytechnic students.
He argued that the disparity of the policy makes polytechnic an undesirable destination in pursuit of tertiary education. He said candidates seeking to be admitted into the polytechnics should be placed on the same benchmark as their university counterparts.
The ASUP boss stressed that there is need for government and other stakeholders to breach public perception that the polytechnic sector is inferior and lacks the capacity to compete with the best.
He declared that the union would no longer accept a situation where candidates sit for the same examination but are allocated discriminatory cut-off points into the universities, polytechnics and Colleges of Education.
His argument: “The policy has failed to understand that polytechnic education is an aptitude-determined choice of the candidate and not a cesspool of desperation. Candidates who sit for matriculation examinations into tertiary institutions deserve equal treatment. Our union shall no longer accept the situation where candidates sit for the same examination but are allocated discriminatory cut-off points into the universities, polytechnics and Colleges of education respectively. Candidates seeking to be admitted into the polytechnics should be placed on the same benchmark as their counterparts. This is to breach public perception which places our sector as inferior or incapable of competing with the best in terms of service delivery.”
Asomugha lamented that for over one year after the union suspended its strike action, which was necessitated by failure of government to address critical problems facing the sector, majority of the issues remain unresolved.
“Our union had in 2012 drawn the attention of government to very critical needs of polytechnics in the country. Upon repeated reminders and as a result of deliberate failure by government to attend to these needs, our union embarked on a protracted strike from October 2013 to July 2014. When the strike was suspended, the issues at stake were not sufficiently tackled by government. We suspended the strike because of the exigencies of the moment and in order to provide the necessary space for government to address them.
“Today, over 85% of these problems are still pending and we are compelled to bring them to the attention of the present administration driven by the hope that the government will bring to bear on these issues the same seriousness and passion for excellence it has approached national development,” he said.