The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) have said the lingering industrial action by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) cannot stop it from conducting another round of the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) when it is due.
ASUU industrial action has been on for almost 7 months due to Federal Government refusal to yield to it demand.
Prof. Is-haw Oloyede, the Registrar of JAMB, gave this position in Lagos, on Saturday, while monitoring the mop-up exam, specially arranged for candidates whose centres were allegedly involved in malpractice and candidates with biometric issues during the general examination for this year in May.
About 1.7 million candidates sat for the exam nationwide while no fewer than 42, 000 candidates from the number sat the mop-up exam across 10 centres (outside their original centres) in about five states of the federation including Abia, Anambra, Delta, Edo and Lagos.
While reacting to questions from newsmen shortly after going round some centres including that at WAEC International Office on Agidingbi in Ikeja and JKK House at Ilupeju on Ikorodu Road to have an on-the-spot- assessment of the exercise, Oloyode said there were many details the organization could not be stopped from conducting another round of UTME either or not public university teachers are on strike as they are currently.
According to him, aside from that more than half of all private universities are in session, some public universities, particularly most state universities are not on strike.
“I can mention some of them. I know of Osun State University, Lagos State University, Kwara State University, and several others. And the reason for that is simple. Many of them are not on state’s government subvention and so their lecturers’ salaries are paid from the school fees.
“So they know that if they should go on strike, their salaries will not be paid.
“And besides those institutions, some other public universities such as Defense Academy, Army University, Police University and the likes are also not on strike.
“So, can’t we then now say because lecturers in the federal universities and few others are on strike, we should stop conducting our exam? What about those who are not on strike?
“So, to do that will be an unfair thing in my thinking to those schools, students and even to the society at large. We can’t hold the entire system down because a part of it is having issue.”
Oloyede said he was also very concerned just like every other parent and stakeholder that the prolonged ASUU strike has forced their students to remain idle for many months and would want the crisis resolved without further delay for normalcy to return to those schools, explained that as far as JAMB is concerned, each university has a way of absorbing candidates who apply to them.