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The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) recently released the 2024 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Exam (UTME) results, revealing a significant number of candidates scoring below the benchmark of 200. This recent discovery has raised concerns about educational attainment amongst the young ones and its impact on Nigerian society. 

According to data from JAMB 76% of candidates scored below 200 a substantial decline in performance compared to previous years. Out of nearly 2 million registered candidates, over 80,000 were absent. While 1.9 million attempted the exam, results for over 64,000 are withheld for potential examination malpractice. 

These statistics paint a worrying picture as a high number of students failing JAMB creates a bottleneck in accessing tertiary education. This can have several downstream effects and a huge setback for Nigeria especially in a competitive world, where Nigerian universities rank very poorly among their continental and global peers. 

Students who fail JAMB face a delay in their educational goals and this not only impacts their individual aspirations but also creates a backlog of applicants vying for limited university placements. A large pool of graduates without higher education can contribute to the growing issue of unemployment, underemployment and also lead to frustration and a sense of lost potential within the youth which could also give room for high crime rate.

As a non-governmental organization dedicated to educational development, we believe a multi-pronged approach is crucial:

  • Strengthening Secondary Education: Improving the quality of secondary education, including robust teacher training and curriculum development, can better prepare students for standardized tests like JAMB. 
  • Alternative Pathways: Exploring alternative routes to higher education, such as vocational training or skill development programs, can offer opportunities for students who may not excel in traditional academic settings.
  • Psychological Support: Addressing the anxiety and pressure surrounding standardized tests through counseling services can help students perform to their full potential.

The recent JAMB results highlight the need for a comprehensive look at our education system. We urge stakeholders, including government, educational institutions, and NGOs, to work together to create a system that fosters learning, supports student success, and equips young Nigerians with the skills they need to thrive in the 21st century.

We will continue to analyze these trends in the educational sector and offer insights on how we can collectively work towards improving educational outcomes for Nigerian youth.

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