An educationist, Mr Clement Adebayo, has advised candidates for Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME), to be wary of unapproved institutions and unaccredited courses in their bid to further their studies.

Adebayo, a retired Principal and Proprietor, Success Academy, Omu-Aran in Kwara, gave the advice on Saturday in an interview with Nigeria News Agency in Omu-Aran, Irepodun LGA of Kwara.

Adebayo emphasised the need for the candidates to consult widely on the genuineness of available institutions and courses before finalising their choices.

According to him, experience has shown that embarking on such illegal academic venture would amount to waste of energy and resources.

“Many stories abound about students who are being denied participation in the National Youths Service Corps upon graduation due to their enrollment in such illegal institutions or unaccredited courses.

“Scores of victims of this dastardly act are also denied their certificates upon graduation or such certificates, when even presented, are rendered useless,” he said.

Adebayo said cases of students embarking on protests over such acts abound in newspapers and  social media platforms.

He advised students to dedicate enough time toward studying the status of every institution and their courses, adding that they should not to be carried away by the excitement of admission.

“It is better to do it right in the beginning than suffering and regretting at the end.

“The National Universities Commission (NUC) had, time without number, rolled out lists of unapproved institutions and unaccredited courses in institutions across the country.

“So, it is the duty of every student, either already in higher institutions or seeking for admission, to do thorough investigation on schools and their courses.

“This is the only way they will not fall for the antics of these illegal school operators who are only bent on making illicit money at the expense of genuine academic standard,” he said.

Adebayo urged NUC to evolve workable synergy and work closely with the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) in enlightening students more on the important issue.

The educationist said it was not enough to list illegal schools and unaccredited courses on social media or other platforms.

Adebayo advised that a periodic pamphlet or journal dedicated to this should be made available to students, especially at the point of entry.

He said that no institution would come out boldly to say it was operating illegally or that so and so numbers of its courses were not accredited.

“Some of them will only tell you that the approval or accreditation processes are already on, but in actual sense, nothing is on ground.

“So, the students need to be thorough in scrutinising the institutions and their courses to know the truth before enrolling,” he said.

Adebayo also advocated that education regulators should put in place stringent punishments for defaulters in order to serve as a deterrent to other would-be offenders.

He charged members of the National Assembly to beam their searchlight on the issue of unaccredited institutions and courses prevalence under a matter of urgent and national importance.

“Education is the best legacy a government can give to its citizens, and it must not be toyed with in any ramification,” he said.

 

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