2024 JAMB Results and Matters Arising

JAMB raises UTME registration fees for 2024

2024 JAMB Results and Matters Arising …C0NTINUE READING HERE >>>

By Zayd Ibn Isah

Reactions have continued to trail the recent release of the UTME (Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination) results for university hopefuls by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB). JAMB's Registrar, Ishaq Oloyede, announced the release of the UTME results in a press conference held at the board's headquarters in Bwari, . According to Oloyede, over 1.94 million candidates registered and sat for the examination in 118 towns and over 700 centres across the nation. This is significantly higher than the 1,595,779 candidates who registered for the 2023 edition.

“The examination, which began on Friday, the 19th of April, ended on Monday, the 29th of April. Out of the 1,989,668 registered candidates, 80,810 were absent. A total of 1,904,189 sat for the UTME within the six days of the examination. Out of the 1,842,464 released results, a paltry 0.4% scored above 300 while 24% scored 50% (200/400) and above,” the JAMB Registrar said.

He also mentioned that 1,402,490, which is 76 percent of the candidates, scored below 200. The performances of the candidates are undoubtedly below par, and many Nigerians are understandably disappointed and baffled. On various social media platforms, many people have attributed the record-breaking disastrous performance this year to the proliferation of social media. To these people, students no longer have time for their books due to the distraction of TikTok, Facebook, Instagram and X. There is also the matter of a consistently decreasing attention span, with scientists discovering that the attention span of the average Gen Z youth is similar to that of a goldfish: 8 seconds. Basically, most of the youths who sat for the UTME this year are more concerned about social media than studying hard to make something of their lives in order to contribute meaningfully to society.

Others attribute the root cause of this year's poor performance to the equally poor quality of education, especially in public schools nationwide. And I know most of us can agree that only a handful of public secondary schools in can really claim to be up to the highest standards of education in this age and time. The majority of these schools have become moribund spaces where students not only regress mentally, but begin developing negative attitudes and behaviours through drug abuse, cultism, online prostitution (runs), internet fraud (Yahoo) and of course, social media addiction. All of these and more have consequently convinced many parents that their wards are better off being in private schools, even if this means that they might have to pay exorbitant fees.

Although this year's results are not quite different from last year's, the attention that one needed was diverted to the case of Miss Mmesoma Ejikeme, who infamously forged her UTME results to gain adulations for being the candidate with the highest scores. But then, after announcing the scale of this year's poor performances, the Registrar made an even more shocking disclosure that should have sparked more outrage than Mmesoma's forgery scandal, but unfortunately caused barely a ripple. During an inspection of the examination proceedings at the Kaduna State University CBT Centre, Kaduna, Prof. Oloyede informed newsmen that a father had been caught impersonating his son, and that both of them were promptly detained for legal prosecution.

“We have a case of a father impersonating his son, writing examination for the son and I wonder, are you not destroying your son's future? Of course, two of them are now in custody. I can't understand what the father will now tell his son when they are both locked up in the same cell. This happened definitely not in Kaduna, but I don't want to disclose the state,” a distressed Prof. Oloyede said.

The father's conduct shows how deep immorality has eaten into the moral fabric of our society. Nigeria is notoriously an “anything goes” society, where illegality is permissible, even encouraged, so long as money is involved. As such, it does not come off as much of a surprise that parents who are supposed to be their children's moral guardians are even engaging in unethical acts which undermine the integrity of our educational system. There are several instances where parents take their children to so-called ‘miracle centers' for WAEC and NECO, or outrightly hire individuals to write exams for them.

One doesn't need a prophet or soothsayer to see just how much this rate of illegality contributes to the intellectual rot and academic decline of students and youths. Also factor in the belief that “school na scam” and you can understand why most students barely bother to read. After all, they have ways to navigate past the rules of education which encourage merit and excellence. After all, social media offers much glamorous opportunities for fame, wealth and social respect, thanks to examples set by an industry of influencers, entertainers, fraudsters and moral degenerates. Nowadays, it is hard for an impressionable Gen Z to understand that academics can be a pathway to a stable career.

Speaking on these issues over and over again is akin to playing a broken record; the loop of messages never stops, because after the dust of this recent issue settles, there will be little in the way of serious intervention and reevaluation of our societal values. When parents, who are supposed to be the moral watchdogs for their children, engage in unethical practices like aiding exam malpractice, it paints a bleak picture of a society where “the fish rots from the head down.” The situation even becomes comical when you consider the fact that some parents would rather send their young children (mostly males) to learn Yahoo and gain illegitimate wealth, rather than ensure that they get the best education and live by the highest ethical standards. In other words, we are doomed as a nation and society if we cannot initiate drastic measures to stem the tide of immorality now threatening to undermine the futures of these younger ones.

However, despite the poor performance and the startling revelation by the Registrar, there are still some positives from the 2024 UTME. For instance, a student from a public school in Kwara State scored above 300. Master Olukayode Olusola's outstanding performance in the 2024 UTME is proof that all hope is not lost in public schools. His academic achievement serves as a flicker of hope and inspiration, especially at a time when confidence in government schools has waned. Such remarkable success from a public school student should undoubtedly ignite a much-needed revolution in the education sector.

Another positive from the 2024 UTME is the number of females that applied this year, which is a bit higher than in previous years. According to the JAMB registrar, 982,393 males, representing 49.4 per cent, enrolled for the 2024 UTME, as against 1,007,275 females, which is 50.6 per cent. This is a huge boost for girl-child education in our country. I am glad that parents are beginning to see the importance of educating their girl-child. There's a widely-known saying attributed to the Ghanaian scholar, Dr. James Emmanuel Kwegiyr-Aggrey, which states, “If you educate a man, you educate an individual. If you educate a woman, you educate a nation.”

That being said, the 2024 UTME should serve as a wake-up call for all of us. Parents need to wake up to their duties as the primary guardians and educators of future generations. The shameless conduct of the father caught impersonating his son is a moral indictment on parenthood, even though it does not capture the general approach to parenting here. There is also a need for us to revive our public schools, so they can compete and be at par with their counterparts abroad. I recently learned that in some cases, public schools in the United States and other developed countries are far better than their private schools.

On that note, let us invest in our public institutions for the betterment of the average citizen. By doing so, confidence will be restored in our public institutions and there will be an assurance for the future of our youths.

Isah can be reached at [email protected]


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