JAMB, which stands for Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, is a Nigerian government agency responsible for the conduct of Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) for prospective students seeking admission into tertiary institutions in Nigeria. The creation of JAMB was a significant milestone in the Nigerian education sector as it helped to streamline the admission process and made it more transparent. In this article, we will delve into the history of JAMB, its creation, and the people responsible for its establishment.
Before the establishment of JAMB, the process of admission into Nigerian tertiary institutions was haphazard and inefficient. Each institution had its admission criteria and conducted its entrance examination. This approach led to numerous problems, including multiple applications by prospective students, the proliferation of examination centers, and the emergence of unscrupulous individuals who exploited the system for personal gain. Additionally, the admission process was marred by nepotism and favoritism, as influential individuals used their connections to secure admission for their wards and relatives.
In 1974, the Federal Military Government set up the Higher Education Study Group (HESG) to review the state of tertiary education in Nigeria and make recommendations for its improvement. The HESG identified the chaotic admission process as a significant problem and recommended the creation of a central body to oversee the process.
Creation of JAMB
Following the recommendation of the HESG, the Federal Military Government established JAMB in 1978 through Decree No. 2 of 1978 (now Act No. 2 of 2004). The board was tasked with the responsibility of conducting entrance examinations for prospective students into Nigerian universities, polytechnics, and colleges of education.
The creation of JAMB was a significant milestone in the history of Nigerian education as it marked the beginning of a more transparent and efficient admission process. JAMB’s introduction eliminated the need for multiple entrance examinations, and prospective students could now take a single test that would determine their eligibility for admission into any tertiary institution in Nigeria. The introduction of JAMB also helped to reduce the influence of powerful individuals who previously used their connections to secure admission for their wards and relatives.
Key Players in the Establishment of JAMB
Several individuals played a significant role in the establishment of JAMB. They include:
Prof. Isa Mohammed
Prof. Isa Mohammed was the first chairman of JAMB. He was appointed in 1978 and served until 1983. Prof. Mohammed was a renowned educationist and scholar who had previously served as the Vice-Chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria. He brought his vast experience in education to bear in the establishment of JAMB, and under his leadership, the board made significant strides in the development of the Nigerian education sector.
Prof. Akin Osiyemi
Prof. Akin Osiyemi was the first Registrar of JAMB. He was appointed in 1978 and served until 1988. Prof. Osiyemi was a distinguished scholar and administrator who had previously served as the Dean of the Faculty of Education at the University of Lagos. He brought his vast experience in education administration to bear in the establishment of JAMB, and under his leadership, the board developed robust systems and procedures for the conduct of entrance examinations and the admission process.
Dr. Biodun Olorunfemi
Dr. Biodun Olorunfemi was a member of the committee that drafted the JAMB Act. He was a renowned educationist and scholar who had previously served as the Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lagos. Dr. Olorunfemi played a significant role in the establishment of JAMB by providing expert input in the drafting of the board’s legal framework.
Alhaji Maitama Sule
Alhaji Maitama Sule was the Minister of Education in the Federal Military Government that established JAMB. He played a crucial role in the creation of JAMB by providing the political will and support necessary for the establishment of the board. Alhaji Sule was a respected statesman and diplomat who had previously served as Nigeria’s Ambassador to the United Nations.
Alhaji Muhammadu Mora
Alhaji Muhammadu Mora was the Secretary-General of JAMB from 1978 to 1986. He played a crucial role in the establishment of JAMB by providing the administrative expertise necessary for the smooth running of the board. Alhaji Mora was a seasoned education administrator who had previously served as the Registrar of the University of Maiduguri.
Prof. Mahmood Yakubu
Prof. Mahmood Yakubu was the Chairman of JAMB from 2007 to 2012. He played a crucial role in the modernization of JAMB by introducing computer-based testing and other innovative technologies. Prof. Yakubu is a distinguished scholar and administrator who has previously served as the Executive Secretary of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) and as the Vice-Chancellor of the Federal University, Bauchi.
Prof. Dibu Ojerinde
Prof. Dibu Ojerinde was the Registrar of JAMB from 2007 to 2016. He played a crucial role in the modernization of JAMB by introducing computer-based testing and other innovative technologies. Prof. Ojerinde is a renowned educationist and scholar who has previously served as the Vice-Chancellor of the Tai Solarin University of Education and as the Director of the National Examination Council (NECO).
In conclusion, the creation of JAMB in Nigeria was a significant milestone in the development of the Nigerian education sector. It helped to streamline the admission process and made it more transparent, efficient, and less prone to corruption. Several individuals played crucial roles in the establishment of JAMB, including Prof. Isa Mohammed, Prof. Akin Osiyemi, Dr. Biodun Olorunfemi, Alhaji Maitama Sule, Alhaji Muhammadu Mora, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, and Prof. Dibu Ojerinde. Their contributions to the establishment and development of JAMB have had a significant impact on the Nigerian education sector, and their legacies will continue to inspire future generations of educationists and scholars in Nigeria.
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