The year 2021 will be forever remembered by the Nigerian students who participated in the Joint Admission and Matriculation Examination Board’s examination. Not only the students, parents and guardians who spent money on form acquisition and tutorial classes for better outcomes will not forget the year. Available information indicates that over 6 million candidates participated in the examination, while 14% recorded scores, which could be classified as “passed grade”.
Based on the poor outcome, students, parents and guardians, and other stakeholders expressed mixed reactions. From the students, the examination body misled them with the syllabus made available, saying the body supposed to issue syllabus that aligns with the areas of focus that are in their secondary school syllabus. This position has been denied by the body in a recent reaction to the ongoing mixed reactions over the poor performance.
Another reaction from the stakeholders is that the body is preparing for another examination. This has also been denied by the body, saying “We didn’t fix another UTME for candidates who scored low. “No examination has been fixed for any category of candidates. The attention of the board was drawn to a Twitter message credited to it (JAMB) that it had fixed another examination for candidates who scored lower than 170 in its examination and should come for a re-sit on July 3.”
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Meanwhile, our analysis of the candidates’ behaviour on the Internet between January 1, 2021 and June 18, 2021 suggests a number of traces that show that the candidates were not actually prepared for the examination. From the educational and non-educational content providers or organisations, various contents are available on the Internet during the period. However, it is surprising that the more contents that are related to JAMB preparation are on the Internet the more the contents related to secrets for passing the examination are also loaded on the Internet.
Our analysis specifically establishes that there are 4.1 million JAMB secret contents while more than 3 million JAMB preparation contents are available for candidates. In our analysis, it emerged that the candidates searched for Jamb secret, Jamb prep 2021, Jamb prep for pc, download Jamb prep for pc, how to Jamb without studying, Jamb syllabus 2021, prep 50 app download and download Jamb prep 2021 mostly before the examination. Despite the significant interest in using JAMB prep mobile application and attestation of its usefulness by some of the candidates, our analyst notes that it is worrisome that the interest does not translate into significant outcomes.Source: Google Playstore; 2021; Infoprations Analysis, 2021
For further understanding of the implications of our insights and the mixed feelings of the public about the mass failure, our analyst spoke with Mr Azeez Abdulhakeem Ademola, an educationist and a lecturer at the Fountain University, Osogbo. He participated in the examination as a Resident Monitor in Ibadan.
Exhibit 1: Most Asked Questions within JAMB Preparation InterestSource: Google Trends, 2021; Infoprations Analysis, 2021
Exhibit 2: Preparation Versus Secret SeekingSource: Google Trends, 2021; Infoprations Analysis, 2021
As an educationist, how would you describe candidates’ preparation for the previous and this year’s JAMB examination?
It is obvious the preparation this year is very poor. This may be due to several factors but more due to negligence on the part of the candidates. Chief among the suspected factors is the Covid-19 Pandemic which disrupted every activity around the world (academic activities not left out). There is also the poor attitude towards education on the part of the candidates and even their parents. Education has lost its attraction and luster to our youths as ephemeral and mundane activities are now given prominence by all and sundry at the expense of education and other profitable ventures.
Exhibit 3: Volume of Content Available on the Internet for Preparation and Secret CategoriesSource: Google Trends, 2021; Infoprations Analysis, 2021
In our analysis of the candidates’ internet use before the examination, we discovered that the more they sought information about Jamb preparation the less they sought information about Jamb secret. What could you adduce for this interest?
The simple thing is that they focus more on what will work to their advantage while writing the exam. Rather than seeking to equip themselves with information about how to write the examination with little or no hassles, the candidates preparations focused more on how they will beat the system put in place by JAMB in order to score high marks. What more, they were egged on by our so-called special coaching centres that are fast turning out to be ‘miracles centres’ where all your education problems are solved.
We also found that content that encourage the candidates to seek knowledge about secrets of passing the examination are many on the Internet than those that encourage them to study hard for the examination. What are implications of these on their preparation and the outcomes?
This is a pointer to the fact that people now favour cutting corners rather than working hard. What this portends for the education and the future of the country is that they become less serious and the result of that is what we are witnessing in the just released results by JAMB. There is the need to stress that the craze by corporate organisations and others to compensate mediocrity at the expense of hard work does not bode well for the country and especially our youths.
Our analysis also indicates that the more people and organisations posted Jamb preparation related content the more they also published content that reveal the secrets of passing the examination. What is your position on this considering the fact that the candidates are expected to explore the Internet ahead of the examination?
Obviously, since we have established that people now favour cutting corners over hard work, the candidates would rather go for contents that will satisfy their immediate gratification which is to pass the exam at all cost instead of studying hard to pass. The tide must be stemmed as soon as possible.