UTME: Parents express worry over backlog of admissions following ASUU strikes


Some parents have expressed worry over the backlog of admissions following incessant strikes by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) in the country.

NAN reports that in 2020, ASUU went on a nine-month strike, which was the longest since 1999 and about two years later on Feb. 14, it went on a four-week warning strike.

It declared another eight weeks strike, saying it was giving the government more time to attend to its demands.

Upon the expiration, it announced additional 12 weeks roll-over with effect from May 9, to end in August.

However, due to challenges of industrial actions and the Coronavirus-induced break, most public tertiary institutions have backlogs of candidates yet to be officially admitted with the results of the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) conducted in 2021.

The new results released by the examination body will, therefore, constitute another backlog for many of these institutions.

The parents, who spoke in separate interviews with on Monday in Abuja, were concerned that the action might affect admission process for candidates who sat for previous and the just-concluded examination.

Mr Andrew Agada, a civil servant and parent said that his older daughter was still awaiting admissions after successfully attaining high score from last year’s UTME.

He said that his younger daughter also sat for the just- concluded exercise but was now worried that the strike by the ASUU might also slow down the entire process or leave them stranded.

“Not many of us have the money to take out children to private universities and even if you can take one, what happens to the others.

“I have a daughter who’s still waiting for admission from last year’s JAMB and her younger sister just scored high too in the exercise that just finished.

“I am grateful to God for these successes.

“However, as a parent with the incessant strikes by universities and other institutions, I’m also worried about when they will finally be admitted without wasting time and the resources parents keep expending.

“Especially with these continuous strikes by the institutions, I sincerely urge the government to please prioritise the education sector to make for a smooth system for our children. It is worrisome.”

Mr Moses Moses, a parent and business man, also said “Firstly, I asked why will our children sit for the JAMB examinations while universities’ union were on strike.

“I didn’t see the essence because JAMB is part of the education sector and getting admissions into these same striking institutions begins from there.

“It means our children and wards will, if successfully writing and scoring the desired points in the UTME, will continue to wait for the strike to be over before the process continues.

“By then, I don’t think the process will be transparent anymore because, there will be carry over from previous exercise and then look at those yet to graduate in the institutions. Everything is jammed up now.

“Let’s not continue to mess up the system, this is my humble plea.

“It is the duty of all stakeholders in the sector to ensure that the system was successful and well managed and not just allowing a particular group to suffer for these actions.”

Responding, Dr Fabian Benjamin, JAMB’s Head, Public Affairs and Protocol, told NAN in a telephone interview that the board had been able to carry out its mandate as established and would continue to play its part responsibly.

Benjamin explained that the board was established for the general control of the conduct of matriculation examinations for admissions into all universities, polytechnics, monotechnics, colleges of education and recently added) Innovation Enterprise Institutes (IEIs).

“We will not falter. It is our responsibility to conduct examinations and we have done that as expected and will hand over the process to the institutions to do their parts.

“They will decide how they want to go about it.”

NAN reports that the board carried out its 2022 exercise, in spite of the ongoing industrial action by ASUU and other related-unions.