COLUMN: 2024 JAMB Result : The Mass Failure And The WayOut 

The Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) is a federal agency that conducts entrance examinations into tertiary institutions in the country. Before it’s establishment in 1978 the few universities in the country then were admitting students based on the criteria they chose individually.

The board has not failed in the performance of it’s primary duty since inception and it has been improving on it despite the myriads of problems facing it, just like any other government establishment.

There has been a remarkable turnaround in its fortunes since the past seven years with a new man at the helm of affairs, culminating in the outstanding reforms carried out in all its operations.

The above success story notwithstanding, one particular problem the board has been battling with consistently is the perennial failure of its candidates. Infact, this year’s result is a mass failure, without mincing words, or what else can we call a result in which only 24% of the over 1.9million candidates passed with a failure rate of 76%.

The reasons for this woeful performance are not far fetched, centering mainly on the candidates’ unpreparedness, laziness and desperation to pass and score high marks at all cost without putting in the required efforts.

Wonders, they say, shall never end or how do we describe a situation where a father impersonated his son by helping him to sit for the examination. This action must have a place in the Guinness book of bad records or black book, if there is any, as it was even the first time such a ludicrous thing took place in the history of the board. 

The case of Ejikeme Joy Mmesoma who last year scored 249 marks in the examination and eventually falsified it to read 362 and claimed to have scored the highest mark throughout the federation, is still fresh in the minds of many people.

Thank God that with the massive deployment of various anti cheating devices the board had been quite up to the task and subsequently able to detect a lot of such irresponsible acts.

 No matter the degree of moral decadence in the country these days, one should not stop impressing on the youths that honesty is the best policy and that there is no shortcut to success. This therefore brings us to proffering solutions to the perennial failure. 

First and foremost, there must be a positive change in the lackadaisical attitude of youths/students to education generally. All the majority of them are after is to be resoundingly successful in life without working hard for such success.

The idea that they can make it in life without education should be jettisoned. The notion my generation grew up with during our youthful years between the 70s and 90s was that education is light and the key to success. Unfortunately the reverse is the case nowadays as brigands, drug pushers, armed robbers, fraudsters and the rest are the role models of today’s youths.

 Furthermore, the parents and the schools need to continuously orientate and re-orientate the youths about the need to live an exemplary life that will impact positively on their academic performance eventually. Parents should monitor their children well and ensure that they devote adequate time to their studies instead of running errands and wasting their precious time on frivolities like mobile phones, football games etc. 

 All effort should be made by the schools and the parents to ensure that these children pass their examinations, including that of JAMB, while still in school as experience has shown that too many distractions affect them as external or non-school based candidates.               

 Government must ensure quality control through regular inspection of schools. By so doing, effort should be made to ensure that teachers in public schools, who are usually well certificated and qualified, are alive to their responsibility by teaching the students well. Furthermore, such inspectors must ensure that teachers in private schools are adjudged well certificated and qualified as many of them are uncertified, half baked and quacks.                  

  Unknown to many school administrators, participation of final year students in private candidates SSCE otherwise called G.C.E. goes a long way in disrupting school academic programmes. 

The exam is not meant for them in the first instance but if they will participate the school must ensure that they don’t abandon school for the exam which means they have to be attending classes when they don’t have papers. Closely related to this is that they must not be allowed to abandon school after such an exam. 

The school needs to work hand in hand with the parents in this area as the latter, surprisingly, support their children by giving all manner of excuses on their behalf.                                      

The school should endeavour to organise extra lessons for students between 7.00 and 8.00am and in the afternoon from 2.00-3.00pm, depending on the closing time of individual school.

Teachers involved should also be remunerated for the extra job for effectiveness. Finally, there should be one or two meetings between the school authorities and the parents of final year students in which the students themselves must attend so as to ensure the success of the various methods being put in place. 

There is no doubt that if all or at least most of the above steps are taken, it will impact positively on the overall performance of candidates in JAMB examinations, thereby putting an end to perennial failure of candidates in the examination.    


(An educationist and a former school administrator)

Oduyale Adebiyi adebiyioduyale@gmail.com


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