OPINION: On Massive Jamb Failure | By Idris Mohammed

NEWS DIGEST – Recently, the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) released 2021/2022 students results which turn out to be very abysmal and condemnable. According to the board, 6,944,368 applicants sat the examination but only 973,384 have passed with minimum scores to get into the Nigerian universities. This shows that only 14% passed while 86% representing the total of 5,970,984 have woefully failed.

This is the first time Nigeria recorded this massive failure but this year’s result was devastating and worrying, out of every 100 students, hardly you find one crossing the usual university score cut-off marks.  University cut off points usually started from 180 points to above with exemptions of some of the newly established universities that accept 160 points but in any case majority of these students are swinging below the mentioned points.

The board which established in 1978 to serve an entrance examination to universities and other tertiary institutions has faced multiple challenges and malpractices, I could remember in 2008 when I wrote my JAMB someone was telling me about miracle centers in Lagos, Abuja and Kaduna where students will pay a sum of N50,000 to get the required points without any challenges.

Then JAMB was manual using paper and pencil with minimal supervision in the centres, many cases of examination malpractices and impersonations were recorded. Computer based Test (CBT) was introduced to curtail the mentioned challenges where students need only to be biometrically verified and log in to computer and write his/her examination.

The process and examination are highly transparent and block the chances of ghost and miracle centres, had it been other examination bodies will harmonize their process like JAMB; the remaining will be a story. Why students failed examinations is because of the influences of some factors like:

The availability of mobile phones coupled with the growing presence of social media handles like Instagram, Tiktok, Facebook and games are bringing huge distractions to students’ reading behavior. Nowadays many young ones spend more time making short videos on Tiktok than reading books, they will not read until the examination period is very close thinking they perform miracles to pass.

Parents are the ones to blame in this respect because they are the one that buying such mobile phones and loading internet data to them in the name of love and caring parent. Its high time to regularize the social media usage among the minors if not we will continue to have massive failures worse than this one.

Desperation of some parent to get their children into universities also playing significant role, many can spend a huge amount of money to see their children pass the exam either by bribing the teachers or hiring some people to give them answers. The strict measures put in place by JAMB became their major challenge of actuating their dream

Poor education standard and greediness of some teachers, in some schools, teachers are now collecting bribes from the students to pass them common terminal examinations. In my conversation with one private school teacher confirmed that teachers no longer fail students because they pay expensively to graduate with flying colors. No wonder my cousin had 7As and 2Bs in WAEC but ended up with 86 scores from JAMB!

Lack of determination to pass the examination, many students have planned that by hook and crannies they must pass WAEC and NECO examinations because the school proprietors told them during registrations that they will pass exams. Some private schools ask students how many As or Bs do you want in your WAEC or NECO, how do you expect commitment and determination from these students?

In conclusion, parents should desist from buying smartphones to their children. Emphasis should also be paid to extra moral lessons and computer training which most of our students lack. By putting these measures, the massive failure experienced in last Jamb will be averted!

Idris Mohammed writes from Katsina