• Tuesday, May 28, 2024
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Teachers’ council urges JAMB to decentralise UTME to halt recurring failure

Josiah Ajiboye, registrar, Teachers’ Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN) has said mass failure may continue unless the mode of conducting the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination changes.

Ajiboye who spoke exclusively to BusinessDay on Tuesday, told our correspondent that given the large number of candidates taking the UTME, the Joint Admission Matriculation Board (JAMB) might not be able to manage the exams well which in turn may lead to mass failure.

He added that teachers shouldn’t be blamed for such abysmal performance, urging the examination body to consider conducting the UTME on a zonal or regional basis for a seamless examination process.

“If one body is organising a one-shot examination for candidates all over the country, there will be a problem. It’s calling for us to look critically to have a decentralised examination. Can we have it done on a regional basis so that it can be effectively managed?,” he questioned.

The TRCN chief executive cited logistics mishap as part of the reasons for increased failure rates in this year’s UTME.

“Candidates encounter a lot of difficulties in the course of writing this exam, computers shutting down, and some travel far just to write the UTME while some may even miss the exam in the process,” Ajiboye said.

“According to JAMB, 1.9 million candidates wrote the exam, how well can they manage such humongous numbers,” he questioned.

Commenting on the nature of the exam, the professor stated that UTME is not always reflecting the candidates’ ability, given the various factors that could surface in the course of writing it.

“The generality of the students actually failed the exams but UTME is a one-shot examination. It is not an achievement measurement of the learners’ performance,” the UI don argued.

On Monday, Ishaq Oloyede, JAMB’s registrar announced the release of the UTME results at a press conference held at the board’s headquarters, Bwari, in Abuja.

According to the examination body, over 1.94 million candidates registered and sat the examination in 118 towns and over 700 centres across the country.

The board noted that 77 per cent of the 1,842,464 candidates whose results were released on Monday, scored less than 200.

Giving a breakdown of the results of the 1,842,464 candidates released, Oloyede noted that, “8,401 candidates scored 300 and above; 77,070 scored 250 and above; 439,974 scored 200 and above while 1,402,490 scored below 200.”

The TRCN chief noted that with the deplorable 77 percent failure rate, JAMB may have to cut its entry score into tertiary institutions which, according to him, would rub off on the quality of graduates produced.

“The mass failure has spiral implications which ultimately could lead to JAMB reducing the cut-off mark. That would water down the quality of the candidates and in turn the graduates produced in our universities,” he lamented.