JAMB has admitted that the performance of candidates in this year’s UTMEiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) is poorer than what was recorded within the past three years. The JAMB Registrar, Is-haq Oloyede, confirmed this on Saturday evening while appearing on a live programme on a Nigerian Television Authority’s (NTA) programme tagged ”Weekend File.”
Mr Oloyede, who blamed the development on the truncation of the academic calendar due to the rampaging coronavirus pandemic, also listed what he described as peculiar environmental factors in Nigeria such as insecurity, among others.
He said the result is a true reflection of the country’s state of education, saying “somebody should be surprised if there is no such an effect on the students’ performance.”
He, however, cautioned critics that the performance would not affect the chances of the candidates in securing admission to their chosen higher institutions, saying the UTME is a ranking examination and not an achievement test.
He said a ranking test is likened to a race where sprinters are ranked based on the time they reach the touchline.
”But in an achievement test, you would have determined the pass mark even before the test. That is, you have something like scoring 50 percent stands for “C” or scoring 40 percent represents “D,” and so on like that. Promotion examination to another class in a school is a ranking examination but at the certification level, such as senior school certificate examinations, what we have are achievement examinations.
“So, as far as UTME is concerned, it is a ranking examination. Therefore, there is neither pass nor failure, because it is not the UTME that qualifies its candidates for admission. Between 10 and 15 percent of the candidates who seek admission through JAMB don’t even sit for the examination, and they even start in 200 level based on their A-level. But if you score 400 in UTME and you do not have five credits in SSCE, then you are not qualified for admission.”
He said UTME only became necessary because the number of those who are eager to get admitted into the higher institution in the country is more than the number of the available spaces, “so we are conducting the UTME to rank them.”