The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) introduced the Central Admission Processing System (CAPS) about three years ago to curb sharp practices in university admission. It has now resolved to wield the big stick on realising that university administrators are bent on frustrating the system.
NOT long ago, the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) wielded the big stick, forcing some universities to suspend their admission processes. The affected universities were said to have drawn the ire of the nation’s tertiary education regulatory agency by failing to comply with its directive, given almost three years ago, that admission processes should be made transparent.
JAMB, in 2017, introduced the Central Admission Processing System (CAPS), which requires universities to upload all the names of shortlisted candidates into JAMB’s portal for ratification.
Under the system, universities were expected to ensure strict compliance with the admission guidelines set by JAMB. The CAPS was introduced with the aim of eliminating all human interference in the admission process.
The goal of CAPS, according to JAMB, is to engender transparency, equity and fairness to all and also give candidates the opportunity to participate in the exercise by accepting or rejecting offers if not comfortable with such programmes.
Rather than comply with the admission requirements under CAPS, including a directive mandating university authorities to upload the names of shortlisted candidates for admissions to CAPS platform for JAMB’s approval, some federal universities were recently found to have chosen to do otherwise.
The affected universities were said have ignored JAMB’s directive, and instead, devised their own ways of conducting admission without recourse to JAMB and its CAPS.
With the affected universities’ separate admission methods, it became difficult for shortlisted candidates to print their admission letters from JAMB’s website because such admission was done outside CAPS.
For many weeks, the offer of provisional admission for some shortlisted candidates were pending, a development that compelled the affected universities to return to JAMB for assistance.
The Vice-Chancellor (V-C) of the University of Ibadan, Prof. Idowu Olayinka, during a visit to the Registrar of JAMB, Prof. Is-haq Oloyede, assured JAMB that his university would comply with the board’s stipulated admission process.
Prof. Olayinka, in JAMB’s weekly bulletin of January 13, 2020, said the university was ready to support the board’s drive towards excellence and credibility in the admission process with little or no human interference or influence as facilitated by CAPS.
He said: “We are impressed with the transparency associated with the conduct of the admission exercise as seen on the CAPS platform. The system helps control all admission processes thereby serving as a clearing house for the Board’s most vital mandate.”
Apart from Prof. Olayinka, the VC of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), Professor Charles Arizechukwu Igwe, and a delegation from the University of Ilorin were at the Headquarters of JAMB last month to rally support for the admission process. The delegation from the UNILORIN was led by the Chairman, Admission Seamless Process and Dean, Faculty of Clinical Sciences, Prof. Ibrahim Katibi.
Prof. Katibi commended the board and expressed satisfaction with the transparent nature of CAPS, stating that the automation of the admission process was a welcome development in the nation’s admission process.
He said the visit would further strengthen the process by engendering equity and fairness.
Prof. Katibi assured the board that the university would incorporate all grey areas highlighted in the meeting into strengthening the conduct of credible admissions in the university.
University of Abuja suspends admissions, payment of acceptance fee
Also, the University of Abuja last month suspended its admission processes, including the payment of acceptance fees by shortlisted candidates until they were uploaded on CAPS.
By JAMB’s guidelines, all offers of admission to candidates, including acceptance, are supposed to pass through the CAPS, a system built by the board to monitor and ensure that candidates are not short-changed during admission processes.
Only candidates who meet the requirements are supposed to be offered admission by their institution of choice and uploaded to CAPS, but the university offered admission to candidates without following the guidelines set by JAMB.
The Vice-Chancellor of the university, Abdul-Rasheed Na’Allah, called for a meeting on Wednesday, January 22 and directed the Admissions Officer of the institution to suspend all admission processes.
In a memo signed by the vice-chancellor, he directed that all admission processes be put on hold pending when all shortlisted candidates have been uploaded to CAPS.
A copy of the memo signed by Na’Allah and addressed to the Admissions Officer and Secretary, Admissions Committee of the university reads: “It has come to my notice that JAMB admission guidelines of uploading all admissions on CAPS have not been fully met. This is totally unacceptable.
“I hereby direct that all admission processes and payment of acceptance fees should be put on hold pending when all shortlisted candidates have been uploaded to CAPS.
“Also, subsequent admission exercise must follow this process.”
Don’t accept admission done outside CAPS – JAMB
JAMB said some universities had developed a means to lure innocent and more qualified candidates from their preferred programmes so that they could accept other programmes.
Its Head of Information, Dr. Fabian Benjamin, noted that such admission offers were illegal and would not be recognised by the board.
He said any candidate who accepts such offer of admission does so at his or her own risk as there will be no regularisation of any irregular or condonment of illegal admission.
Benjamin said: “In order to circumvent the rights of candidates, the institutions are now using their own portals to unlawfully persuade and pressurise candidates to accept another course and then make a change of course on the JAMB portal to the new course supposedly offered on their own portal.
“These tricks are improper and should be disregarded by the candidates. All institutions employing such tricks are putting into jeopardy the future of the illegitimately favoured less qualified candidates as the board will not condone or regularise such irregular admission.
“Any candidate who accepts such offer of admission, made outside CAPS, does so at his or her own risk. There shall be no regularisation of any irregular or condonment of illegal admission.
“Such admissions are illegal. It will not be on our site and we will not regularise nor condone such admission. The implication is that such candidates would not participate in NYSC etc.
“Appropriate caution has been given to these universities to withdraw and desist from such illegitimate action. Any such act will henceforth be visited with appropriate sanctions.”
‘Our goal is to protect the interest of candidates’
Oloyede said his preoccupation as far as admissions were concerned was to protect the interest of candidates.
He said the board was determined to ensure that the power vested on the Senate and Councils of tertiary institutions were upheld without infringing on the rights of the candidates.
Oloyede said the board would not tolerate any action capable of jeopardising the interest of candidates in their quest for quality tertiary education.
The registrar urged tertiary institutions to adhere strictly to the extant guidelines governing the conduct of admission in the country.
He frowned at the flagrant abuse of the platform vis-a-vis the conduct of admissions without recourse to it, stating that the board would not honour any admission done outside the purview of CAPS.
He said: “Institutions are not permitted to conduct admission on their portals. Any admission done outside CAPS is illegal and would not be condoned by JAMB.
“CAPS was introduced to automate the admission exercise for candidates desirous of tertiary education in the country. The platform provides candidates as well as other stakeholders involved in the admission exercise, with the tool to become active players in the admission process.
“Through CAPS, candidates can either accept or reject their admissions while candidates who reject their admissions will be placed in the Marketplace.
“CAPS was borne out of the ingenuity of Nigerians and, as such, I feel good to say that everything that technology can offer is present in Nigeria.
“As long as the right thing is done, the board would continue to partner institutions in the country in order to reposition the education sector to meet the challenges of the 21st century.”
No more illegal admission/ regularisation
Before the introduction of CAPS in 2017, universities conducted admission on their portals. Some offered admission to candidates without meeting the requirements.
In the 2016/2017 admission year, about 49,426 illegal admissions were done by various higher institutions in the country.
The figures included admissions done by universities, polytechnics, colleges of educations, and other higher institutions.
Its head of information said: “We know that we have abused the process. What we have been doing is to send N5, 000 each to JAMB in the name of regularisation without capturing their picture, without capturing anything. You pay N5, 000 and then they are regularised
“With CAPS there cannot be illegal admissions except if such institutions conducts admissions on its portal as the case with some institutions now which we are sanctioning. Our insistence for all admission to be conducted on CAPS is to streamline admission and eliminate fraud in admission exercise.
“Our CAPS will monitor and ensure no abuse is found. Candidates can also track admission in the spirit of transparency to ensure that no candidate is overlooked on the basis of any primordial factor.”