JAMB and The Failure Of Public Exams

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The Joint Admissions and Matriculations Board otherwise known as JAMB recently released results for candidates seeking admission into Nigerian Universities. The poor results didn’t come as a surprise to me; a worrying trend that has seen candidates’ performance being on a downward spiral ever since I first sat for the exams myself over a decade ago. To gain admission into a Nigerian univesity, at least as I had previously known it to be, a candidate needs to score at least over the 200 mark something 56% of the over a million students who sat for the exams did not manage to achieve. It is also of utmost great concern that just under 3000 students which represents 0.2% of the entire candidates achieved a score of 300 and above.

So why are our young people increasingly doing so poorly in public exams in Nigeria? We need to first take a long hard look at what type of education is on offer in primary and secondary schools. As I write this piece, it has almost been impossible to get hold of what is called the new basic education curriculum for primary and junior secondary schools, launched in 2007. Four years after its launch, not even the Federal Ministry of Education’s non-functional website can something as basic as the National curriculum document be found ~ a topic for another day perhaps. However, from what I understand, the new curriculum will have an emphasis on vocational education and enterpreneurial skill. This is all well and good but the trouble is we are never short of good policy formulation but our biggest nemesis is to actually make it to work. The failure by successive governments to invest heavily in both infrastructure in schools; teaching and learning resources and more importantly a rigorous teacher training programme. The unattractiveness to teaching because of poor remuneration and other conditions of service has left the profession with a negative perception as one that is for people who perhaps didn’t do well enough to go to university.

If you sum up all these issues coupled with corruption and ineptitude in the way our schools are run, it comes not as a surprise why many of our young people are failing because of an educational system that has failed and refused to reform. The decades of neglect has led to the chickens finally coming home to roost in the rot that pervades every aspect of education in Nigeria typified by the recent JAMB results.

We also need to ask ourselves if a test with only multiple choice questions by a single exam board is a true measure of the ability of students who end up going to university? Are the questions in line with what is being taught in schools? Do schools and Universities make any input in questions or at least the way they are set? There needs to be some deep soul searching by govt at all levels and they should begin to take steps to fix the mess that our educational system has become if we are to avoid headlines that portrays the educational underachievement that sadly our children have become known for.

10 COMMENTS

  1. Mehn…. its sad o….. very sad……
    Even the basic building blocks of our society are in shambles….
    i feel like crying…. what future do the young ones have in such chaos….?
    Nigeria is a place where more questions are asked every day filled with a backlog list of uncertainties with no solutions…..
    Very painful…..

  2. Pls let’s start doing something right in this country,let’s talk about the solution after we have see this problem.can you imaging a country where a university gradute can notwrite a complete statement.Did that student disappear into University ?

  3. It’s true dat learning is a treasure dat folows it owner. Bt som tym skuls r responsible d poor learning of student. 4 instant,if u gain an adimision in 1 of nigeria university bt d skul refuses 2 ofer u an adimision letter. Isn’t it enof 2 draw u back in ur studies. Plz let d nigerian president do sumthing abt dis.

  4. the most important thing in life is peace but can be obtain in the secret of nature,not every body knows what it is but the few leaders will always think they are wise and we always foresake themselves forgeting that they were(some text missing) in nigeria we have just 3 eyes of which the leader have one and the youths have one and the last is blind.to acquire it time will choose the generation or else the edge Will we at last meet.

  5. the trend is realy worrisome.nevertheless i very much doubt if JAMB exam is actually a true test of knowledge given the little time allowed for the exam and the type of questions.

  6. Hour leaders were trainned/educated too be in high position they are today, but they forgot to invest in the educational sector, they only mind for their owned children, it’s unfortunate that we have selfish leader in these country, imagin in this country where a teacher collect money from a student to pass an EXAM, like JAMB, NECO, WAEC, to be sincere , i exprience it when i wrote waec last year,we were told to pay money before the exam commences it’s very bad and is only GOD that can save our educational sector and the entire country.

  7. Hour leaders were trainned too be in high possition they are today, but they forgot to invest in the educational sector, they only mind for their owned children, it's unfortunate that we have selfish leader in these country, imagin in this country where a teacher collect money for a student to pass an EXAM, like JAMB, NECO, WAEC, to be sincere , i exprience it when i wrote waec last year, it's very bad and is only GOD that can our educational sector and the entire country.

  8. Hour leaders were trainned too be in high position they are today, but they forgot to invest in the educational sector, they only mind for their owned children, it's unfortunate that we have selfish leader in these country, imagin in this country where a teacher collect money for a student to pass an EXAM, like JAMB, NECO, WAEC, to be sincere , i exprience it when i wrote waec last year, we were told to pay money,before the exam commences it's very bad and is only GOD that can save our educational sector and the entire country.

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