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…Of Osun Poly, WAEC, NECO, JAMB And Half-Baked Matriculated Products By Tope Abiola



...Of Osun Poly, WAEC, NECO, JAMB And Half-Baked Matriculated Products By Tope Abiola

Recently, a video clip went viral in which a non-descript man is seen interviewing young supposed matriculants of a higher institution. It is dubitable if the interviewer is a journalist. But what is of essence is that the seeming failure of the supposed matriculants to answer simple and mundane questions correctly is being used to smear some reputable higher institutions in the land.

For the avoidance of doubt, matriculation is an initiation exercise into the academic activities of an institution. Newly admitted candidates of tertiary institutions are welcomed to the academic voyage, after they have been found worthy in the final examinations of the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) or the National Examination Council (NECO) and certified by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) to proceed for further studies.

Now, if a matriculant is observed to elicit traits that betray the knowledge he or she is expected to display, does anyone has the right to blame the admitting institution? To say the least, it is the duty of any higher institution to grant a student a space during admission, so long as the student possesses the Ordinary Level requirements for the course he or she seeks to undertake, especially as the JAMB has validated that by awarding such student the cut-off mark the institution is asking for, not minding the manners in which the student scaled through the hurdles of WAEC, NECO and JAMB, perhaps he could have gotten the results through the windows which may not be known to the admitting Institution.

Today, it is saddening that the credibility attached to these examination bodies is now going into oblivion. Only recently, about a week ago, JAMB conducted another of its examinations. It was widely reported in the media that a father was nabbed for impersonating his son in the examination. Thank God he was reportedly caught and will be made to face the music. Yet, there might be others that have escaped the long hands of the law.

Students who succeed in getting this abracadabra kind of JAMB results would naturally present them to their institutions of choice, while the unsuspecting institutions would ensure their placement, based on the results they have presented.

Also remember that around July last year, one Ejikeme Mmessoma of Anglican Girls Secondary School, Nnewi Anambra State, allegedly used a computer application to award herself the highest score in the 2023 JAMB examinations. Again, if the bubble did not burst, Mmesoma would have continued to enjoy accolades and perks that come with exceptional brilliance, especially from the government and people of her home state, while whichever institution she had applied to would have no ground to deny her admission.

Let us also not forget that some unscrupulous parents aid and abet the growing malpractices that are plaguing the educational sector of this country. The case of the father writing Computer Based Test (CBD) of JAMB for his ward, earlier cited, suffices. Also, if you recall, the Ejikemes also stood stoutly behind their daughter in her fraud. Thank God JAMB stood firm; and concerned Nigerians were bent on investigating the scandal and getting to the root of the matter. Mmesoma eventually reportedly owned up to committing fraud, to the consternation of her parents and her state’s government.

As a concerned parent observed over the case of the half baked matriculants in the viral video, “Since these are supposedly fresh students, their performances say much more about the quality of the certificates WAEC and NECO are awarding them than that of the polytechnic where they have not yet started academic endeavours.

It demonstrates how raw the students are at the inception of their polytechnic studies. JAMB is also not blameless in this.

My take is that until Osun State Polytechnic or any other institution for that matter has not radically transformed such students at the completion of their studies, common sense should dictate that no issue should be raised to smear the tertiary institution. Since these students have not been trained by the polytechnic, accusing fingers should not be put at the polytechnic, hence they are products of the WAEC, NECO, NABTEB and JAMB, passed to the polytechnic as raw materials and the raw materials have not been used. Sources of their Ordinary Level results and JAMB scores should be queried and investigated, not authorities of their new institutions.

I’m surprised that many people are surprised over the trend the viral video seems to be portraying; we shouldn’t pretend that our pre-tertiary candidates are raw and unbaked. A graduate was asked about the nature of the degree she bagged from the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN); and she said “Bsc. Law.”

Let us be sincere, our secondary school education today is not what it used to be in our time. These are students fresh from their village schools where parents pay for mercenaries to write NECO and WAEC papers for their children, rather than invest in preparatory endeavours like buying past question booklets, enrolling wards in good coaching centres and monitoring dedication to studies, among others.

Also recall that recently (in fact, only last week), the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) disclosed that there are schools in this country where parents enroll their children to learn the art of “Yahoo Yahoo.” Can you imagine that Nigerian parents would rather send their children to a school where they would learn how to defraud others through the internet? What is wrong with such children being encouraged to learn CBT techniques for future use in JAMB examinations? As a matter of fact, nobody has the moral justification to blame any tertiary institution for their children’s failure in learning, at least, until they have graduated. In fact, the society is putting unnecessary pressures on these higher schools with the kind of products they are pushing towards them yearly.

Gladly, the management of Osun State Polytechnic has debunked the trending video, describing it as a “comedy skit.”

The institution, in a statement by its Registrar, Mr Abiodun Oloyede, said “the comedy did not emanate from the polytechnic.”

He added that “though, the comedy depicted the rot in the Nigerian secondary education system, where students are not well groomed in their secondary school levels and, indeed, acquired their secondary school certificates in the WAEC and NECO through dubious means and even made their ways through the JAMB to secure admission into the tertiary institutions in the same manner, we are not part of it.”

Oloyede had declared that “the alleged students in the comedy who were regarded as newly matriculated students in Osun State Polytechnic, Iree are not products of the institution who had earlier passed through academic trainings in any department of the Polytechnic.”

It suffices to say that governments at all levels need to go back to the drawing board to do a pragmatic appraisal of the process of grooming primary and secondary students in this country. This is particularly so considering the change in society in which success is no longer measured by academic excellence.

*Abiola PhD. is the Media Relations Officer and Dean, Students Affairs, Osun State Polytechnic, Iree.