The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) have said it will provide the necessary support to ensure that Nigerian students evacuated from war-torn Sudan are integrated into the nation’s universities.
Registrar of JAMB, Prof. Ishaq Oloyede, made this known on Tuesday in Abuja when the Chairman of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Mrs. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, led others to the exam body’s headquarters to discuss modalities for integrating the affected students into tertiary institutions in the country.
Oloyede, who empathized with the students, commended NIDCOM for the effective handling of their evacuation, adding that JAMB would ensure the desired support.
“What we will do is that we will provide the necessary infrastructure, the necessary enablement to make you accommodate or return these candidates (students) to our educational system,” Oloyede said.
Oloyede, however, called on the students not to tread the path of those who returned to the country over a year ago as a result of Ukraine’s war but refused to comply with the stipulated procedures that would have ensured they continue their academic programmes seamlessly in Nigerian universities.
He said: “We must thank NIDCOM for making efforts that the students are brought into the Nigerian university system and we have given the Commission the process and procedure….
“There are procedures (for transfer of students); the transcript, the rules and regulations, and nobody should be under any illusion believe that Nigerian university will award certificate with less than two years stay and residency in the university, and the procedure is done legitimately and properly with the cooperation of the National Universities Commission and the individual institution.
“The guideline from JAMB has already been handed over to the chairperson of the Commission.”
Explaining further on the issue of spending a minimum of two academic sessions for students who transferred to any Nigerian university, Oloyede said: “If you are doing a five-year programme, you will go to year four, because you are going to spend year 4 and year 5.
“For instance, if you are studying Medicine and you are in your 600 level, and if the Medical and Dental Council assesses what you have done; practical is okay, they will just move you to year 5, 500 level. You will do 500 level and 600 level, and you will have the certificate of the institution in Nigeria.”
On her part, NIDCOM chairman, Dabiri-Erewa, said 1,730 Nigerians have been evacuated from Sudan as of Tuesday, adding that the majority of them are students eager to continue their education in Nigeria while waiting for the war to be over.
The NIDCOM boss assured that the necessary procedures will be followed to integrate the affected students into Nigerian schools.
She said: “The key thing is that there are processes to follow but they are not difficult processes and that is what we learnt from JAMB.
“The institutions are already saying they want to give support, they want to admit them but the key thing is to follow the process as stipulated by JAMB.
“All the information is on our website, process to follow, it should not be difficult to follow. The key thing is that JAMB has assured that it will provide the enabling environment and infrastructure, if for instance, a university admits you, after the admission, you need to get that letter from JAMB that says you have been admitted, no matter what year; year 3, year 2, year 4, and I think that it is the most important thing, but all the information will be out there so that we don’t make mistake in getting these things done.
“I will also appeal to the students that there is a crisis, it is affecting them one way or the other. How will the limit the impact or effect on them, whichever way, we must follow the process.
“Most of them are hoping that the war will be over and they will go back, but what if it is not? What is the stopgap? That is why we are doing this with JAMB.”
Also speaking, one of the parents of the affected students, Asmau Yerima, commended NIDCOM and JAMB for ensuring that the students will not be abandoned at home doing nothing.
“Our children are ready to go back to school, we don’t want to keep them at home. We don’t want them to be traumatised. Thanks to JAMB, they have been kind of cooperating and they gave us all the answers that we needed and we are happy our children will be going back to school as soon as possible”, she said.