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The 2024 JAMB Debacle: A Call for Systemic Reform in Nigerian Education

by Church Times



The results of the 2024 Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) exam in Nigeria have painted a concerning picture. With a mere 0.5% of candidates scoring above 300 and a staggering 76% scoring below 200, the statistics reveal a deep-seated issue within the Nigerian education system. This article delves into the potential causes of this mass failure, analyzes the broader systemic challenges, and proposes solutions for a more robust and successful educational landscape.

**Examining the Causes:**

**1. Systemic Deficiencies:**

The Nigerian education system faces numerous challenges that can hinder student performance. These include:

* **Inadequate Funding:** Chronic underfunding of schools leads to a lack of essential resources like textbooks, libraries, and technology.
* **Outdated Curriculum:** Failure to adapt the curriculum to the demands of the 21st century leaves students unprepared for modern challenges.
* **Teacher Training Shortcomings:** Inadequately trained teachers struggle to deliver engaging and effective instruction.
* **Overcrowded Classrooms:** Large class sizes limit personalized attention and hinder quality learning experiences.

**2. Insufficient Preparation:**

Beyond systemic issues, student performance can be hampered by inadequate preparation. Factors contributing to this include:

* **Poor Study Habits:** Students may lack the necessary study skills and time management techniques for effective learning.
* **Limited Access to Resources:** Students in rural areas or from disadvantaged backgrounds might lack access to quality study materials and tutoring.
* **Examination Anxiety:** The high stakes associated with the JAMB exam can create significant stress and anxiety, hindering performance.
* **Societal and Economic Pressures:** Poverty, family obligations, and societal pressures can distract students from focusing on their studies.

**3. The Role of Technology and Social Media:**

While technology can be a valuable educational tool, its misuse can negatively impact student performance. Factors to consider include:

* **Social Media Addiction:** Excessive social media usage can distract students from dedicating sufficient time to studying.
* **Misinformation and Unreliable Sources:** Reliance on social media for learning can expose students to inaccurate information and hinder preparation.

**4. The Reading Culture Decline:**

The decline in reading habits amongst Nigerian youth can significantly impact their academic performance. This may be due to:

* **Competition from Technology:** Students may be drawn to video games and other forms of digital entertainment over reading.
* **Lack of Reading Promotion:** Schools and families may not be adequately fostering a love for reading and emphasizing its importance.

**5. The Teacher Factor:**

Beyond systemic limitations, the quality of teaching can significantly influence student success. Factors here include:

* **Teacher Motivation and Welfare:** Demoralized and underpaid teachers might struggle to deliver effective instruction.
* **Limited Teaching Methods:** Over-reliance on traditional rote learning methods may not adequately prepare students for critical thinking and problem-solving.
* *Non Professionalism of teaching in Nigeria. We now have hordes of teachers in both primary and secondary schools who are teaching pupils and students what they don’t know. Thanks to the ‘businessnisation’ of education in Nigeria!

**A Call for Reform:**

The 2024 JAMB results present a stark call for action in reforming the Nigerian education system. Here are some potential areas for improvement:

**1. Increased Government Investment:**

* Allocate greater resources to education, focusing on infrastructure, curriculum development, and teacher training etc.

**2. Curriculum Modernization:**

* Revise the curriculum to emphasize critical thinking, problem-solving, and practical skills relevant to the modern world.

**3. Teacher Training and Support:**

* Provide ongoing professional development opportunities for teachers in pedagogy and subject knowledge.
* Improve teacher welfare to create a more motivated and effective teaching force. Nigerians teachers are poorly paid when compared to other climes.

**4. Addressing Social and Economic Challenges:**

* Implement programmes to support disadvantaged students and families to facilitate access to quality education. The much seen discrepancies between urban and rural schools is to dichotomous for any inclusive educational services.

**5. Promoting a Reading Culture:**

* Encourage reading initiatives within schools and families to instill a love of reading and strengthen comprehension skills. Today across Nigeria, hardly can one see any well stocked libraries – public and private. Even most higher institutions libraries aren’t something to be proud of. This shouldn’t be the case at all if we are serious of improving our educational systems in Africa to develop the next generation.

**6. Technology Integration:**

* Utilize technology strategically to enhance learning experiences while promoting responsible digital citizenship to avoid distractions.
* Today, Nigeria education suffers from digital kwashiokor as you can hardly observe small numbers of our higher institutions that are well advanced in offering full online education as done in the Western world. Even most of their websites aren’t responding enough to queries from prospects, not to talk of digital education!
* Digital Transformation of our education systems is needed now for inclusivity, accessibility and to cater for the Leapfrogging of our economy into the artificial intelligence propelled future.

**7. Addressing Exam Anxiety:**

* Develop student support programs to manage stress and anxiety associated with standardized testing.

**8. Combating Examination Malpractice:**

* Implement stricter measures to curb cheating and promote academic integrity.

**9. Parental Involvement:**

* Encourage stronger partnerships between schools and families to create a supportive learning environment.
* The case of a father caught sitting for his ward during JAMB exam is an aberration and this emphasised the parental complicity in the educational malaise bedevilling our country.

*10. Explosion of Business Aspect of Education*

– In Nigeria, all sorts of business men and women and money-miss-road individuals have dabbled into education. They set up these schools and compromised standards to make profits.
– Teachers in many of the private schools especially in primary and secondary schools across Nigeria are not qualified teachers – they are job seekers who ended up in the classroom to make ends meet. How then do we expect education standards to be top-notch when teachers are untrained or half baked?
– This must change through serious government policies that will professionalise teachers at various levels. What TRCN is doing presently doesn’t cut it. It is not holistic enough and even complicating the matter! We can take a cue from Norway and China to improve our curriculum and professionalism in our educational system.


The 2024 JAMB results serve as a wake-up call for Nigeria. While blaming the JAMB system may be tempting, this article emphasizes the need to address deeper systemic issues within the education sector. By implementing comprehensive reforms that focus on increased funding, a modernized curriculum, empowered teachers, and a culture of reading and critical thinking, Nigeria can ensure a brighter future for its students and its nation.

Blessings 💯❤️


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