Monday, 9 May 2016

Article: Nigeria’s Quota System And Cut-Off Marks: Anambra And Imo Are Discriminated

By An AFRIPOL Writer

For many years, the Federal government of Nigeria has promulgated and implemented cut-off marks for all candidates seeking admission into Federal Government Colleges or Unity Schools as they are  popularly known. But the policy of assigning different cut-off marks for candidates of different states in Nigeria tends to promote mediocrity at the expense of meritocracy.
Anambra and Imo states in particular  have felt the greatest negative impact of the government sponsored cut-off marks and quota system. Anambra and Imo students were being discriminated without reservation by assigning them high cut-off marks when compared to others.  For instance to be
admitted into Unity schools, Anambra State students were assigned cut-off mark -  Male(139) Female(139) and Imo - Male(138) Female(138).

Comparatively,  Zamfara – Male(4) Female(2), Taraba – Male(3) Female(11), Ekiti – Male(119) Female(119) and others were assigned lower cut-off marks.  The Nigerian constitution guarantees fairness and equality but it is eluding students from Anambra and Imo States.

The idealistic policy of promoting diversity, affirmative action and equality are laudable but a targeted duration must be initiated with modest cut-off marks that are fair but not grounded on blatant discrimination that promotes marginalization and mediocrity.

According to Vanguard newspaper of December 2014, the “former President of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Mr. Olisa Agbakoba, SAN, in the suit against the Federal Government and the Minister of Education, had challenged the prescribed different cut-off marks for different states, based on candidates’ gender and their states of origin, arguing that same violates the candidates’ fundamental rights to freedom from discrimination guaranteed by Section 42(1) of the 1999 Constitution.”

“He had argued that Section 42 of the 1999 Constitution prohibits administrative or executive actions by government that discriminates between Nigerians on grounds of ethnicity, gender, religion and place of
origin. He had asked the court to declare that the administrative act of the respondents, particularly the Minister of Education, which prescribes and applies different requirements including cut-off marks for candidates seeking admission into Federal Government colleges, based on gender, ethnicity, states of origin, etc., is discriminatory against applicant’s grandchildren and the group or class they represent, on grounds of ethnicity, states of origin, gender, etc. and therefore violates Section 42(1) of 1999 Constitution. “

After hearing arguments from counsel to parties, the court ordered that the Federal Government and Minister of Education should apply uniform cut-off mark to all candidates seeking admission into Federal Government Colleges, irrespective of their states of origin” (Vanguard News). But the judgment felt on deaf ears and education ministry continued with its discriminatory policy.

Below are the full cut off points for Unity Schools as published by the  Federal Ministry of Education, Nigeria:

Abia – Male(130) Female(130)
Adamawa – Male(62) Female(62)
Akwa-Ibom – Male(123) Female(123)

Anambra – Male(139) Female(139)

Bauchi – Male(35) Female(35)
Bayelsa – Male(72) Female(72)
Benue – Male(111) Female(111)
Borno – Male(45) Female(45)
Cross-Rivers – Male(97) Female(97)
Delta – Male(131) Female(131)
Ebonyi – Male(112) Female(112)
Edo – Male(127) Female(127)

Ekiti – Male(119) Female(119)

Enugu – Male(134) Female(134)
Gombe – Male(58) Female(58)
Imo – Male(138) Female(138)

Jigawa – Male(44) Female(44)
Kaduna – Male(91) Female (91)
Kano – Male(67) Female(67)
Kastina – Male(60) Female(60)
Kebbi – Male(9) Female(20)
Kogi – Male(119) Female(119)
Kwara – Male(123) Female(123)
Lagos – Male(133) Female(133)
Nassarawa – Male(58) Female(58)
Niger – Male(93) Female(93)
Ogun – Male(131) Female(131)
Ondo – Male(126) Female(126)
Osun – Male(127) Female(127)
Oyo – Male(127) Female(127)
Plateau – Male(97) Female(97)
Rivers – Male(118) Female(118)
Sokoto – Male(9) Female(13)
Taraba – Male(3) Female(11)
Yobe – Male(2) Female(27)

Zamfara – Male(4) Female(2)

FCT Abuja – Male(90) Female(90)

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