Prof. Akin Alao has kicked against the recent cancellation of national admission benchmark, otherwise called cut-off mark, by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB).
Alao, a professor of History at the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), described the action as “a disservice to excellence and to quality education.”
He made the remark while delivering a lecture during the closing event of a quarterly in-house symposium organised by the Law Corridor Chamber in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that JAMB had, on Aug. 31, announced the cancellation of the national cut-off mark at the 2021 policy meeting, which was held virtually, and chaired by the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu.
According to Alao, a country must have standard and this standard must be maintained overtime, especially in such professions as law, medicine and other specialised ones.
“The removal of the national cut-off mark will open the door to so many other vices because we have a mushroom of universities now and we believe that many of these universities are not committed to quality but they are set up as enterprises.
“Any opportunity to move these universities forward in terms of the number of students, and in terms of the amount of money that they will make, will be exploited by those who are not committed to excellence.
“And that is why it is possible for these new and mushroom universities to open their doors to admit just anybody to read law and other specialised courses since there is no national cut-off mark.
“This will affect the quality of these professions. It will hamper excellence. it will not give us the best and it will not be in the best interest of these professions,” he said.
On how legal profession could be used to promote social justice in a society, he said “the best way is to understand the law.”
According to him, a good understanding of the law will give the opportunity to use law to promote social justice .
“Understand the law, understand the society, understand the intersections between law and society and have an ideological commitment to the advancement of the society.
“Have a passion to use the law to move the society forward and to see how individuals in the society can live within the ambit of law,” he stated.
Alao said that the issue of social justice is about seeing law within the context of the society and to serve the interest of the society.
Corroborating, the Principal Partner of Law Corridor Chamber, Pelumi Olajengbesi, said there was the need for the legislators to enact laws that would reflect the aspiration of the society and serve for the purpose of achieving social justice in Nigeria.
He said the aim of the programme was to create a deliberative assembly where lawyers and stakeholders within the legal profession constantly interact together in order to chart a way forward towards legal development in Nigeria.(NAN)