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.
— Sep. 30, 2013 @ 01:00 GMT