On the massive 2021 UTME failure

The massive failure recorded in the just concluded Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) is the worst ever in the history of JAMB, based on analysis so far. The situation is worrisome to the extent parents have started blaming the examiners not the candidates.

Imagine most candidates got 16, 24, 54, 104, 156, with few ones getting the average of 180; this has generated a lot controversies in many communities.

The failure was attributed to Computer Based Test (CBT) system by many people, saying most of the candidates who sat for the examination aren’t computer literate as well as lacking proper orientation on how to operate the computers. Others are of the opinion that the long Covid-19 break had great impacted on the failure. There are others still that attributed the failure to candidates’ lack of curiousity, said they need to be questioned why they failed by considering the few candidates that got the required marks.

But to me, this isn’t just the case rather the nature of the nation’s education system. We are aware of the fact that Nigeria’s education sector is suffering from all angles, from infrastructure to teachers; in fact, there is no quality education. This has contributed to students’ failure in many ways during exams, because they are not being taught properly.

Looking at the nation’s primary and secondary schools, one will realise that we have a long way to go in achieving what we call good education. How do you expect one who had his/her basic education under the shed of tree to operate computer or even write exam with computers?

70 percent of Nigerian students writing UTME today lacks the requisite knowledge of computer and are seeing and operating computer in the first place, how then can they scale the examination when even some teachers are computer illiterate?

Therefore, I suggest, we are not good to go, I mean with the CBT though we are in digital era (computer revolution). We should step back and equip our primary and secondary schools with computers as well as teaching the students the technical know-how of operating computers.

Failure to do so may end up misguiding the students and further weakening the nation’s education system.

Ukasha Rabiu Magama,

Toro LGA, Bauchi state

[email protected]