It is a fact that the candidates who sat for the 2021 JAMB UTME examinations are not as serious as those the past. These days, it is very common for students to be obsessed with social media and phonographic websites.
Too much freedom from home and school; access to a lot of distractive materials that were not available years back and ultimately less parental care contributed to this.
In 2019, I wrote frankly on what I believe to be the major problems and causes of disheartening failure the in exams. I mentioned: “It is disheartening how undereducated we are becoming in a world of educated persons. It is expected that every child should be encouraged to study to be able to make an impact on the healthy growth of society, but regrettably, the story is something else in Nigeria as students are made to pass through hell to succeed in their educational pursuit.”
I have since then continued to wonder why there is no improvement in the conduct of the examination and the results as the case may be. This year can be considered worst considering how it trended and it is still trending on social media.
Social media obsession and watching of serial series films by those candidates have been labelled as the reason behind their failure. Though quite some numbers of persons have blamed the centers contracted to conduct the exercise. A lot of centres reportedly issued out very old and truly outdated computers to the candidates, as a result, those systems kept messing up while the examination was going on and the candidate in question had nothing to do but to wait for the systems to normalize before proceeding.
There were reports of epileptic power supply in some centres. Perhaps the body examines those centers, certified them fit, and permitted them to carry out the exercise, little does the accreditation body knows that some centers do hire alternative power supply equipment and additional computers mainly for accreditation.
Network connectivity is a challenge in many communities in Nigeria, as such most of the candidates have their works submitted automatically the time elapses with or without crosschecking their works due to network challenge.
Some of the candidates that were supposed to write the exercise at 9 am were screened at 1 pm and wrote the exams after 3 pm. Hunger frustration and anxiety are true factors when it comes to emotional stability.
As part of the solution, secondary schools must work hard to produce candidates fit for external examinations, our kids today cannot take the pressure we took back in the university. It is a rigorous learning procedure, and we are meant to believe there is no shortcut to success. They must learn to read the midnight way and discuss ideas read with friends in the afternoon.
Parents must monitor what sites are their kids visiting, obsession with social media must be replaced with an obsession with the book. What they own, where they go must be monitored.
The examination body should consider the period the results can be used by universities for admission for 5 years just like its equivalent SAT in the U.S.A
It is important at this point, for the minister of education to look into the matter and proffer a lasting solution to this daunting challenge.
(c) Muhammad Auwal Suleiman