JAMB: A Plunge into the Abyss


Whenever you ponder the problems militating against a desired educational system in Nigeria, look not too far away from the immediate environment. Just like an argument in defence of medical tourism, whilst the need to patronise local hospitals, even at the level of leadership as personal example, is not subject to a debate, emphasis cannot be glossed over personnel and capacity. And if what education has become today is truly a cause for concern for patriotic leaders, then, there is a compelling need to look at the capacity of those at the helm of affairs and at all levels in that critical sector.

A sub-sector of the nation’s educational sector gave itself up recently as lacking in all ramifications, the gravitas required to function effectively, when the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) reduced the cut-off marks for admission into higher citadels of learning to ridiculously low 120 from 180, whatever the pretext.
And to further ridicule that office as well as all those who work there, the Registrar, Professor Ishaq Oloyede, said it was not JAMB but stakeholders that fixed the cut-off marks. It is therefore trite to ask: on whose table does the buck stop? Does JAMB not have representatives in the stakeholders’ forum? Even if stakeholders suggested such condescending and completely mortifying cut-off marks, is it binding on JAMB to accept such and implement?
Even at 180 in the previous academic year, there were arguments that it was still quite low if compared with other affiliate institutions in other parts of the world. To now peg the cut off mark at 120 is to say the least, ridiculous and clearly, an evidence of lack of capacity and constructive thinking by the JAMB leadership.

The good thing is that some of the stakeholders, which Oloyede referred to as fixing the cut-off marks, have also come out to condemn the decision in national interest. But more importantly, the federal government needs to look into the educational system more seriously and carry out serious overhaul of the entire system, because whether or not they like it, the future rests on knowledge economy and education is the key here.