Statistics from the recently undertaken Joint Admission and Matriculation Board examination indicates that of the 1,493,604 candidates who sat for the UTME examination, 842,941 candidates scored below 200 marks 7,504 results were withheld some of which are still under investigation and 28,069 cases of incomplete results were recorded. Overall about 8514 i.e. 58% of the students who sat for jamb will not be writing entrance exams into any school.
The fact that more than half the students who wrote Jamb exams failed is quite sad especially considering that there are many more hurdles a student must cross before successfully gaining admission into any university. Hence the statement on the lips of many Nigerians and commentators is why did students fail Jamb?
In defining failure, let us remember that failure is simply achieving less than is required. Jamb examination which is taken annually was designed to be a requirement for students to gain admission into institutes of higher learning. One would expect that such an examination which consumes millions (if not billions) of Naira every year and occurs ONLY ONCE a year would be thoughtfully planned and perfectly or at least properly executed. Instead students stand for hours at examination centres, go through a lot of physical discomfort and are often given wrong instructions.
Every year, students at various centres are told not to bring their calculators into the hall and then few minutes after the exam commences they are asked to get their calculators. Imagine the disorder, panic and pandemonium that results in circumstances like this. This particular scenario was worse than ever in this year’s exercise especially since Jamb had asked candidates not to bring any writing materials to the hall claiming that the writing materials would be provided for. However, this was not the case in most halls and many students had to start looking for writing materials after the exams had started without being given any extra time.
Beyond all this, I was very surprised by the words of Ojerinde when he said the biometric method of screening “has recorded more successes than drawbacks”. How can this be when according to him only about 99,000 students i.e. 6.6% were screened through this method? The customer service which had been incorporated into Jamb turned out to be a complete scam as students were made to pay undisclosed charges to access the service yet most of their complaints were not handled.
The reality is that Jamb
– Failed to provide conducive examination conditions for her candidates.
– Failed to provide writing materials and calculators as promised
– Failed to curb exam malpractice by not eliminating the so-called “special centres”.
– Failed to provide provisional admission to students into Polytechnics and Colleges of Education
– Failed to provide satisfactory customer service.
– Failed at using the biometric method of screening that had already consumed a lot of money.
Having proven to be an institution which is incapable of discharging its duties, I recommend that Jamb’s modi operandi be overhauled or revamped else the entire examination should be scraped especially since higher institutions have shown themselves capable of conducting their own entrance examinations. I believe that the mass failure recorded in the Jamb examination should be attributed to the institution’s failure to meet the expectations of Nigerian students.