Maths shouldn’t be compulsory for humanities in colleges of education ― JAMB

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The Registrar of Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Professor Ishaq Oloyede, advocated that Mathematics should not be made compulsory for people who want to read humanities in the Colleges of Education, saying this is absolutely unnecessary.

He said this, on Tuesday, in Abuja, while fielding questions from newsmen at the sideline of the ongoing three-day summit on the repositioning of the Colleges of Education System in Nigeria, where he also warned the Provosts of Colleges of Education against the conduct of illegal admissions.

Professor Oloyede’s view was re-echoed by the President of Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union (COASU), Nuhu Ogirima, who noted that somebody who wants to undergo any course in Humanities does not require Mathematics for anything since such an individual would have acquired basic Mathematics at the basic and secondary levels of education.

Ogirima said this was one of the reasons why the summit was put together for stakeholders to brainstorm on the way forward for teacher education in the country.

The JAMB Registrar, on his part, expressed concern that application into Colleges of Education `were dwindling and there was the need to address the issue noting that part of the problem is systemic.

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He said, “What I mean is that don’t put an unnecessary requirement on the part of the candidates because if you so do, you want them to find an illegal way of circumventing the system. My own view is that Mathematics, in particular, should not be made compulsory for people who want to read humanities in the Colleges of Education. It is absolutely unnecessary.

He, however, said this does not mean that JAMB would not require Mathematics as a prerequisite for candidates sitting for Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) except the law is changed.

The JAMB boss said it was not realistic to require somebody with five credits ‘O’ Level including Physics, Mathematics and English to go to read Nigerian Certificate in Education (NCE) in Yoruba or Hausa when such as a person could conveniently apply to study in any of the universities.

He also urged the Provosts of the Colleges of Education to be open and sincere in what they do, saying a lot of the admissions they do were illegal, stressing that the Board needs to know the correct statistics of those subscribe formally to the Colleges.

“You see now that we are in the period of NYSC and pressure on us now is admission. Admission should come before enrolment. But now you have people who want to graduate and go for NYSC and are now pressuring JAMB to issue admission letters which were supposed to have been issued six years ago,” he said.

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When asked if he could subscribe to three credits as a minimum requirement for admission into Colleges of Education because of attrition in subscription, the Registrar said: “Let me answer the question this way; I am not saying it should be three credits, it could be five but I’m saying Mathematics is not required for Igbo, Hausa and Yoruba or Arabic because it is not relevant.

“I will also say that take the leaders of education today, and go and look at their qualifications when they were going to Colleges of Education in those days, many of them have four credits and you will recollect that at that time you require three ‘O’ Level plus two Advanced Level, which their ‘A’ Level is what NCE is.

“To go to the university about 20 years ago, you require just as today five credits and for people with education in those days, all they need to do is to have three ‘O’ Level credits, which are different from the two credits they have at the NCE and the two are added together to go to 200 Level (Direct Entry).

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“Now we are saying that they should get five credits, including English and Maths and go to NCE and when they finish what do they do? They will now come to 200 Level, it’s wasting. So, if anybody has genuine five credits, such a person would naturally choose University and would not want to pass all those processes.

“I’m saying let us be realistic because what we are having now if we are not deceiving ourselves, is that people are just buying certificates and claiming what they do not have and because the system cannot check properly, many of them are going scot-free. These are some of the reasons some people find JAMB as a stumbling block,” he said.

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