Despite scoring an impressive 300 at the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) last year, Firdaouz Yusuff-Awari was unable to gain admission into the University of Ilorin where she had hoped to study Common Law, PREMIUM TIMES can report.
Ms Yusuff-Awari, 17, also performed excellently at the UniIlorin’s post-UTME test where she scored 76 per cent; in the 2019 West African Examination Council (WASSCE), she emerged with seven distinctions and two credits. The university’s cut-off marks for Common Law are 260 and 50 per cent for UTME and post-UTME respectively.
“Presently, my daughter is at home depressed and very disappointed in the educational system,” said Olaitan Yusuff-Awari, Firdaouz’s father. Firdaouz’s plight came amidst an outrage across Nigeria after it emerged that a student, Goodness Shekwobyalo Thomas, was unable to gain admission into the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, to study Medicine and Surgery despite scoring 302 in the UTME.
In their response, the JAMB blamed Ms Thomas for her inability to gain admission into ABU.
The UTME is a computer-based standardized examination administered by the Joint Admissions and Matriculations Board (JAMB) for prospective undergraduates in Nigeria. According to Mr Yusuff-Awari, his daughter was unable to include Mathematics among the subjects she uploaded to the University of Ilorin portal because the West African Examinations Council delayed its release. She uploaded eight subjects to the university portal while awaiting the release of her Mathematics. Mathematics (at least a credit pass) is a requirement to study Law at the university.
“The WASSCE result was released on July 25 and the Mathematics was later released on August 31,” said Mr Yusuff-Awari, an indigene of Ojoku in Kwara State.
The university shut its portal on August 20. “We uploaded the (full) result on JAMB portal and they sent us a copy that they’ve received it. When we tried sending it to University of Ilorin, their portal was closed,” he said.
Mr Yusuff-Awari said he went to the Computer Services and Information Technology Centre (COMSIT) at the university in September to inquire about the closure of the portal. The COMSIT is the ICT department of the university that uploads admission list and is in charge of opening and closure of the portal.
He said he was told that too many candidates applied to study at the institution and the number of candidates that had uploaded their results on the portal was more than the school could take. “The people there advised me to change my daughter’s course to another that does not require Mathematics, but I said no.”
“The closure of the portal made eligible students unable to upload their results, no single candidate was able to use NECO result for Unilorin because NECO results were not yet out,” he said.
“When I went to the institution in December to inquire about the matter, they requested that the students should start attending lectures.”
“How would someone attend lectures when the person has not been given admission? Who will account for all the time wasted?”, Mr Olaitan asked.
“The school said they should start receiving lectures in case they open the portal so that they will not miss much,” he said. Mr Olaitan said all attempts to seek clarification from JAMB and the University of Ilorin did not yield any result.
The spokesperson of JAMB, Fabian Benjamin, did not respond to PREMIUM TIMES’ requests for comments.
But Kunle Akogun, the UniIlorin Public Relations Officer, said the university is not to blame for the candidate’s failure to gain admission because her results were not uploaded before the portal was closed. “If a candidate scored 400 and is unable to upload results at the regulated time, there is nothing anyone can do.
“Closing the portal was school regulation and students were required to upload their results before the closure of the portal.” Mr Akogun declined to state if the university issued a notice to applicants about the closure of the portal.