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Case studies: Departments of Computer Science, Civil Engineering and Mass Communication.

  • By: Túndé Jr., Adé

It is no longer news that the cut-off points for the recently concluded Higher National Diploma (HND) entrance examination into The Polytechnic, Ibadan has been released.

It a generalized perspective, it didn’t come off as a surprise that when the cut-off was revealed to the stage, it was to the utter shock of all candidates. This surprise, of course, is of polar views. Few were elated, and a very large some were appalled.

This latter largely includes aspirants into the department of Civil Engineering, Mass Communication and Computer Science. Which had the points average of 88%, 84% and 88% respectively.

In a conservative opinion, its grossly too much. 88% is too much to be used as a grade point for anyone. Even the best Universities do not use such. After investigation, it was discovered that each candidate had answered 25 questions each, each going for four marks. Which is to say that the only way to pass is scoring at least 22 questions right. 22 out of 25! Yes.

What makes it more disturbing is the discovery that the department of Physics with Electronics has a cut-off of 8. This is also a very difficult course in its own. So It is hard to fathom that on one side of an institution, a student would require to score at least two questions right, whereas another would require twenty-two.

Obviously, the cut-off is calculated statistically. That is, the amount of admission slots with respects to the rate of high score. And one could understand that it is very possible for a student to achieve a score of 90%. However, it is also not logically possible to believe that more than 50% had scored over 88%.

This would then imply a long con is happening somewhere. Some would like to imply that the questions were leaked beforehand. With investigation carried out amongst affected candidates, it was realised that the case of Computer Science and Civil Engineering is occurring the second consecutive year.

The cut-off mark for Civil Engineering last year was 65%, while that of Computer science and Mass Communication were 70% and 75% respectively, before skyrocketing to 88% and 84%. This, absolutely, would depict the Institution’s admittance of best brains. On the contrary, it may not be so, because what if the prospective students had access to the questions before hand?

Conversely, it’s hard to believe how another Engineering department, Electrical Engineering to be exact would have a cut-off of 12%, while Civil Engineering would have seven times that. It is even amazing to know that this department admits no less than other departments with the average of hundred students.

During the investigation, a young man who was trying this examination for the second time, and repeatedly failing narrowly talked with PRESS COUNCIL. This applicant, Olaniran Timothy missed out on the 2018/2019 after scoring 60 against a cut-off of 65. And when he tried again after vigorous study, he scored a whopping 80 percent. And he had already begun rejoicing only to discover that he had be edged past by 8 marks. Timothy complained bitterly as to how the institution expected more of him after clinching a score of 80. He also admitted to have heard that the question had been leaked to a few.

Nepotism as eaten into our bones. who is to say that the questions weren’t leaked by some members of staff of the department or institution to some favoured personals. How can the public be sure that more than the 50% of the students who scored over 88% did not cheat? We live in a corrupt nation; we all can attest to that.

An applicant to the department of Mass Communication, who wouldn’t like his name to be disclosed said that the whole cut-off hike was a targeted ploy at departments with the highest numbers of applicants to force them into applying for the Daily Part Time Programme (DPP).

“The thing with the DPP programme is that it is much more expensive than the actual full time admission, over 50% much expensive. And with the state of the economy, is this a right action from a public institution? The more discouraging aspect of applying for the Daily Part-time programme was that graduates of such programme was not eligible to partake in the National Youth Corps Service (NYSC).”

The general populace find it quite unfair on some students who are well meaning and might not have come across the leaked questions to be punished in such manner. With the interview slatted for 23rd and 24th of October, 2019, it’s safe to say that nothing can be salvaged by those who could not meet up with the cut off. While this is unfortunate, the ship has now long sailed to the middle of the ocean and cannot be boarded.

However, the management should look closely into the process of examination preparations and markings so as to avoid such discrepancies in the future. Simply because events like these may not be the process justifiable process of admitting the best brains, and this is embarrassing to the great name of the institution.

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