By Fatimat Ibrahim Abedoh
Not long ago, the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) released its 2021/2022 students results which threw many into bewilderment after announcing that only 14% of the overall candidates passed the exam.
JAMB itself confirmed that the performance of candidates in this year’s Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) is poorer than what it recorded within the past three years or thereabouts.
The scheme also noted that, given the current statistics, when the data of candidates who scored 120 marks and above out of the possible 400 in 2021 is compared to what was obtained in 2020, there is a difference of 0.25 percent. But it is worse when 2018 and 2019 performances are taken into comparison.
Generally, the percentage of failure since the exam has been digitalized is quite larger compared to when it was handwritten.
Following this, a lot of students have blamed the scheme for their failure. However, the scheme on the other hand blames the students, adding that they set questions based on the curriculum which is made available to students and teachers for them to cover.
Aside from having a bunch of unserious students who have a nonchalant attitude towards their academics, we also have some of the committed and intelligent students out there who wouldn’t forfeit their academics for anything. I believe the big fall is not just limited to students being unserious amongst other reasons which have been cited by many.
I would like to take our minds back to the actual situation of the educational system in Nigeria, generally. The lack of primary or basic adequate academics facilities and resources especially in our government secondary schools. Now, the suppose JAMB Examination is a Computer Based Test. But how many of our secondary schools have a well-equipped, functioning computer lab for their students? Very few! Students are not exposed to computer operation. Funny how you see a secondary school student and some undergraduates finding it hard to power on a computer. Even though a lot of these students studied computers in both primary and secondary classes, they could only hear what the computer system can do. See how it looks on their textbooks. There is hardly a provision for the facilities for practical demonstration and experience.
For this, many students are faced with technophobe. Operating a computer system is quite different from operating our mobile phones. The interface with our Android is different when using a computer.
I could remember vividly when I was preparing for my JAMB, in 2017/2018. I did computer science from my Primary one to Senior Secondary School 2. Still, I don’t know how to power on a computer. Partly because we lack a computer lab in our school and my father couldn’t afford one for us either. I wasn’t scared about the exam but how would I operate a computer. Each time I complain, my mother would try to convince me that when I get there, I would see people put me through.
However, I wasn’t satisfied. I enrolled in a computer institute and did a 3 days computer training on basic computer skills. But there are those who were not taught in school because of lack of facilities, how about students who school in a remote area? and can’t afford to pay to sit down for an extra class on computer basics and their parents can’t afford a PC too?
The point is there are a lot of intelligent students who failed not because they don’t know the answers but for the fact that they were not adequately empowered in school, they lost their confidence sitting in front of a computer.
More than ever, our schools need serious rehabilitation because the whole world is moving digitally and the lack of computer skills is a huge deficiency in the digital world. As a matter of urgency, the government must wade in, practical computer classes should be effective and made compulsory for all students, those who are not opportune to have one at home should be privileged to have access to it in their various schools.