JAMB UTME Massive Failure, Any Way Out?

Written by: Adeyemi Lahanmi

With the reality that 77% of those who sat for this year’s UTME failed and a few celebrated for scoring above 300, what level has our education sector gotten to.

 JAMB registrar, Prof. Ishaq Oloyede, announced that over 1.9m candidates sat the examination, which took place in all the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory, only 1,842,464 of the candidates had their results released. Oloyede noted that “8,401 candidates scored 300 and above; 77,070 scored 250 and above; 439,974 scored 200 and above, while 1,402,490 scored below 200.”

While the average mark should ideally be 200 out of 400, the fact that 1,402,490 candidates fell below this benchmark raises significant concerns in the country’s education standard. While this is a concern for all, the education standards reflects the type of learning students receive in class and this is reflected in the exams they eventually sit for.

Stakeholders are of the view that the government is yet to have a firm policy on how our education should go. Are they adopting the 6-3-3-4 or the recently introduced 9-3-4 as the curriculum being used does not reflect the realities of new  inputs in education. It keeps changing from time and those who have been employed to teach, are they well trained and motivated to impact knowledge on the wards that they have been assigned to educate? So many questions than answers  as to why our education is experiencing such failure.

Can JAMB be blamed for this mass failure in its exams?  If the  regulatory policies are to be looked at, some may question why the cutoff mark by JAMB was put at 200? Why can’t it be higher to encourage them to  study more so as to meet up. Even those offering tutoring may not be helping matters as they help students to bypass the process of studying by offering to give them  answers during the exams or in some cases sit for the students during the exams. This sometimes can be in conjunction with the parents or even the school that the exam is taking place at.

A concerned parent  and educator Mr Laolu Ashley in a chat with E-City reporter stated that the situation is a sorry one as schools no longer uphold values because of the financial gains. He stated further that parents now even pay teachers to help their kids pass exams nowadays and this is just a greater reflection of the little mishaps in our primary and secondary schools. How many government schools are functioning and well equipped to ensure students get maximum education? How many parents would want to take their kids to public schools now because they prefer private schools where they are guaranteed good and quality education?

Another concerned parent and educator, who wants to remain anonymous opined that students of nowadays prefer to be on social media rather than studying. This later would reflect during their exams and teachers or schools are not to be totally blamed. What is the function of the home in ensuring that a culture of studying is imbibed by their children?

  • Other factors contributing to this failure are poor preparation which could be due to lack of study materials and a guide, procrastinating, and distraction .
  • Some students may not be used to the Computer based test as they lack basic computer skills and there could be some technical glitches experienced during the exam.
  • Some may have anxiety and stress as well as economic challenges and not forgetting the security challenges  in the country as well as inadequate facilities in schools that help with learning.
  • Technical challenges can also come up during the exam and some may not have full basic skills in computer operations.
  • Schools battling with inadequate infrastructure can also contribute to this mass failures.
  • Poor Preparation: Many students may not adequately prepare for the exams due to various reasons such as inadequate study materials, lack of access to quality education, or distractions during the preparation period.

So what are the solutions?

  • Government must review its policies to fit in with the new realities in education. This will help students be up to par with their international peers.
  • Schools must be well funded and teachers motivated greatly.
  • Sharp practices in schools should be dealt with within the law of the land.
  • Parents must imbibe the culture of reading in their homes  and help their wards study even with the harsh realities in the economy.
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