Admission: Uncertainty over JAMB’s candidates with awaiting SSCE result

By Felix Khanoba

Candidates who registered and sat for the 2020 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) with the hope of using this year’s May/June Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE) may be in for challenging times in the 2020/2021 admission process into tertiary education institutions in the country.

This is as a result of the indefinite postponement of the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) and the National Examination Council-SSCE occasioned by the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The West African Examination Council (WAEC) which normally conducts the school-based WASSCE between May/June said it is not contemplating any plan to hold the exam for now until schools are reopened.

“We are waiting for the Federal Government of Nigeria to reopen the schools that were closed to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus and save lives. It’s only then that we can start talking about when the examination will start,” WAEC said on its twitter handle, @waecnigeria.

While no new dates have been announced for the conduct of the mid-year SSCEs, the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) will begin admission of new students for 2020/2021 academic session in August/September, and candidates who are unable to provide their SSCE results are not considered irrespective of their UTME score.

The exam body has fixed its policy meeting, where the cut-off mark for this year’s admission will be announced, for 15 and 16 June, 2020.

JAMB’s spokesman, Dr Fabian Benjamin, told The AUTHORITY that the Board is carrying on its normal activities, saying the non-conduct of the May/June SSCE would not impact or delay its plan for the year’s admission process.

About 2 million candidates registered for the 2020 UTME while The AUTHORITY is yet to ascertain the actual number of persons that sat for the JAMB exam awaiting SSCE result.

A candidate, Simon Obi, in a chat with this correspondent expressed worry that many like him with awaiting WAEC results may miss out on the admission or institution of choice, unless this year’s disruption in the conduct of SSCE is considered by JAMB.

“We are yet to write the exam and the SSCE result may not even be out before admission will start. Some of us scored very high in JAMB but when they start the admission now and our results are not ready they will jump us to pick people below us with the required O’ Level results. At the end of the day we may just miss out on the admission,” Simon said.

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