Editorial Suite

WHEN the Joint Matriculations and Admission Board was established by Decree No 2 of 1978, it was heralded as an institution that will ameliorate the challenges inherent in the university admission system. The major issues then was harmonising the admission process to eschew the problem of tribalism, ethnicity and favouritism. For a while the institution worked well. But like other institutions in the country which has been bogged down by the monster called corruption, which has also eaten deep into the fabrics of the society, JAMB appears to be an albatross in the admission of candidates into tertiary institutions.

The problem has worsened to the point that authorities in the universities doubt the integrity of the JAMB examinations and this explains why they are now conducting their own tests before recruiting new students after the candidates have finished with JAMB examination. This has brought added pressure to the already over-stretched finances of parents and guardians. It has also generated a debate as to whether JAMB is still relevant to our educational system. Some die-hard critics have even called for the scrapping of JAMB for failing the country woefully while others root for reforms. The position of the die-hard critics is supported by the Steven Orosanye-led panel report which recommended the scrapping of the 35-year-old institution.

But the reality remains that JAMB does not operate in an island. Its problems are emblematic of the larger corruption in the society albeit in institutions of higher learning. The challenges facing JAMB elicit some pertinent questions. Will the scrapping of JAMB change the situation in the tertiary institutions for the better?  Will it solve the challenges in the admission process now or will the initial problems its establishment was meant to solve  recur? Will scrapping JAMB not amount to another inconsistency in government educational policies which has been the bane of the sector? There are no easy answers. The Realnews team has again decided this week, to turn your attention from political tensions in the country to a major challenge in our educational system in our cover story for this week entitled: JAMB: Blessing or Curse? It was written by Anayo Ezugwu, our hardworking reporter, who investigated the activities of JAMB for more than a month. It is a very interesting story. Enjoy it.

Maureen Chigbo

Email: mechigbo@yahoo.com  |  mechigbo@realnewsmagazine.net

— Sep. 30, 2013 @ 01:00 GMT

One thought on “Editorial Suite

  1. Before a drastic decision such as scraping of Jamb will be made; it will go to the referendum with the participation of all the relevant authorities in education. The sample population will not be less than a million people.
    Secondly, the Institution should be re-organized and sanitized. In Nigeria we still have many credible teachers and professionals who can help to select genuine Christians and honest people from other faith to fight corruption in JAMB. And there shall be severe penalty for any form of corruption in the system. Checks and balances should be put in place to stop corruption in the system.
    Thirdly, the Jamb examination should be on line with detailed video recording. This is because, most of the problem is in the exam hall. Sometimes, the invigilators will collect money from the candidates and allow them to copy and do what they want to do. There is the need that the exam is properly documented with video coverage in all the halls.
    Fourthly and most importantly, is the fact that Jamb need to expand its operation and make sure that everybody that made at least 30% is placed somewhere. There should be organized Tailoring Schools, Hairdressing and Cosmetology School. Motor Mechanic Schools, Building and Construction Schools, Music Schools, many more School of Agriculture, School of Industries etc all with Entrepreneurship Development Department. The emphasis is that those who could not go into the regular traditional schools will be absorbed in the Trade Schools based on their natural talent.
    In fact, the main problem is that of expansion. For instance, the best tailors we have in Onitsha are those who went to well organized tailoring school in some West African countries. The emphasis is that all JAMB candidates who made at least 30% must be absorbed into a school. The rest could repeat the examination to be more grounded. The number should be taken and provision made for them to learn a trade in a well organized institution.
    The exam fees, if well managed, can build the Trade Schools for tertiary education. The number of candidates whose talents are not harnessed in Nigeria is alarming. The emphasis should be to equip secondary school leavers with marketable;e skills!
    So, instead of scraping JAMB, they should start expansion by building Trade Tertiary Schools to absorb all the candidates every year.

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