ON MASSIVE LEG RUPTURE… | THIS DAY
Recently, the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) released 2021/2022 student results which turned out to be catastrophic. According to the board, 6,944,368 candidates sat for the exam, but only 973,384 passed with grades to enter Nigerian universities. This shows that only 14% passed while 86%, representing 5,970,984 students failed miserably.
This is not the first time Nigeria has recorded this massive failure, but this year’s outcome has been devastating and disturbing. Out of 100 students, barely one gets the usual college cutoff marks. University cutoffs usually start from 180 points and above, with the exception of some of the newly established universities which accept 160 points.
The Board of Trustees which was established in 1978 to conduct entrance examinations and admit students to universities and other higher education institutions has faced multiple challenges and mistakes. I remember in 2008 when I wrote my JAMB someone was telling me about miracle centers in Lagos, Abuja and Kaduna where students pay 50,000 N to get the required points without any challenge. Then, JAMB was manual – using paper and pencil with minimal supervision in the centers. There have been numerous cases of professional misconduct and identity theft. Computerized Testing (CBT) was introduced to reduce the challenges where students only need to be biometrically verified, log into the computer, and take their exam. The process is very transparent and blocks the chances of ghost and miracle centers.
The availability of cell phones coupled with the growing presence of social networks like Instagram, Tiktok, Facebook and games are bringing huge distractions to students’ reading behavior. Many young people these days spend more time making short videos on Tiktok than reading books. They will not read until exam time is very close, thinking that they will do wonders to be successful. Parents are the only ones to blame in this regard as they are the ones who buy cell phones and load internet data for them in the name of love and care. It is high time to regularize the use of social media among minors, otherwise we will continue to have mass failures.
The desperation of some parents to enroll their children in college also plays an important role. Many can spend huge sums of money to see their children pass the exam, either bribing teachers or hiring people to give them answers. The strict measures put in place by JAMB have become their major challenge in achieving their dream.
The greed of some teachers in some schools is also a contributing factor. Teachers now collect bribes from students to pass them on. My conversation with a teacher at a private school confirmed that teachers no longer fail students because they pay dearly to graduate with flying colors. No wonder my cousin had 7A and 2B in WAEC but ended up with 86 scores on JAMB!
Parents should refrain from buying smartphones for their children. Emphasis should also be placed on the extra lessons in ethics and computer science that most of our students lack. By taking these steps, the massive failure experienced in the last leg will be avoided.
Idris Mohammed, Katsina