The Registrar of Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, Professor Ishaq Oloyede has disclosed that only 0.06 per cent representing about 803 of the more than 1.3 million candidates who sat for the 2021 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination scored 300 and above.
A total of 1,338,687 candidates registered for the 2021 UTME, which commenced nationwide from 19th May 2021 and ended on July 3.
Oloyede, who appeared on National Television Authority (NTA) Weekend File, admitted that candidates performed below expectation this year when compared to previous years for obvious reasons, especially the COVID-19 pandemic leading to the closure of schools and insecurity which made it impossible for many schools to cover the necessary syllabus.
He noted that statistics of the results in the last four years, 2018 for example, showed that those who scored 120 and below were about 99.99 per cent of the candidates, 99.92 in 2019, 99.80 in 2020 and this year 99.65, a drop of .25 per cent from that of last year.
He added that those who scored 160 and above, last year was 69.82 per cent, while this year is 45.62 per cent, disclosing further that those who scored more than 300 over 400, last year were .26 per cent of the candidates, this year .06 per cent, and in 2019, .16 per cent of candidates scored above 300.
He said: “I have heard people say that many people failed and JAMB people won’t say that one, that is not so, but it is expected. In Nigeria, we think we are not living within a global community. All informed educated experts know the point at where we are in the academic calendar.
“By last year when they were taking the examination, they had gone far in the coverage of the syllabus, the incomplete session, the emergency online that was put together and many other disturbances, like in Nigeria we have the challenge of insecurity. Somebody should be surprised if there is no effect on the UTME.
UTME is not an achievement test, it’s a ranking test. It’s just like if you are going on a race and 100 persons were going for competition, you don’t talk about how many minutes it takes to cover the period; you said this first, second, third, fourth and fifth and you rank them according to the time they arrived at the venue.
“But you also do another competition and say that before you can be part of it you should be able to cover so, so meters within a specified time; that is what is called achievement test. In the achievement test, you would have determined the pass mark, everybody would have known that 50 per cent is A, this one is C and so on.
“As far as UTME is concerned it is a ranking examination therefore there is no pass or fail. It is not UTME that qualifies a candidate for admission. About 10 or 15 per cent of the candidates do not even take exams, they come in at 200 level through Direct Entry because they are evaluated on the basis of their ‘A’ Levels,” Oloyede said. He added for instance, that those who take examinations and scored 400 over 400 and do not have 5 credits would be admitted.
The Registrar further explained that it is the five credits that qualified the person but because those who are eager to go into certain programmes are more than the spaces available that the Board had to conduct an examination to rank them.
“The reality is that candidates are performing less than expected and there are also environmental factors,” he said adding that the performance does not affect the admissions because the number of persons to be admitted would be admitted.