Africa's Education News Source

Ex-commissioner blames societal issues for UTME mass failure

A former Commissioner for Education, Osun State has described the mass failure recorded in the 2024 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination
Get stories like these delivered straight to your inbox.

A former Commissioner for Education, Osun State, Prof Oluyemisi Obilade, who is also former vice-chancellor, Tai Solarin University of Education( TASUED), Ijagun, Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State, has described the mass failure recorded in the 2024 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) results of which were recently released as a true reflection of the low quality of education in Nigeria.

In the tertiary school entrance exam, only 23 per cent of the total 1.84 million candidates, who sat the exam nationwide scored up to 200 from 400 marks (representing 50 per cent) while the rest scored below 50 per cent as announced by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) which conducted the exam.

Obilade was fumed at this development, attributing it to many factors most of which according to her, are societal self-inflicted.

The don expressed this concern as a discussant at the monthly Boiling Point Arena public discourse held recently via Zoom.

She spoke alongside Prof Kolawole Kazeem, erstwhile Provost of College of Education, Ilesa, on the topic: “The Crisis in Nigeria’s Education Sector: Are we raising a generation of illiterates.”

According to the former commissioner, many things have gone wrong in our education sector and this did not happen today but for a while such that the sector has been seriously devalued and nothing seems to shock us again.

“And so when JAMB registrar, Prof Ishaq Oloyede, announced this year’s UTME results and gave the statistics of those who passed and failed, I, for once, believe the statistics as I know Prof Oloyede would not lie,” she said.

Obilade continued, saying “Today, there is no more dignity, no more honour in our education system. Everything now is about money. People now worship money.

“Students don’t read again let alone study. Many of them just want to get certificates they can’t defend. Teachers are no longer respected. Parents even go to school to beat up teachers for punishing their children. Parents aid exam malpractice at will for their children. Some are even now sitting for their children in exams.

“There is loss of cultural values, and there is general indiscipline across the board. “There is social disengagement. Nothing like it takes a village to raise a child again in Nigeria. “Everybody is on his or her own. Nothing seems to shock us anymore.

“There is corruption everywhere. Corruption in the admission of students and also in the employment of teachers and other school workers. Corruption in awarding contracts.

“Our educational system is indeed in shambles. There is inadequate personnel. The infrastructure is bad. Most teaching and learning equipment particularly in government-owned schools are obsolete.

“There is gross underfunding of all aspects of our education. And to make matter worse, cries of labour unions in educational institutions to the government to put things in order are largely ignored,” the challenges are just limitless.”

Obilade, however, pointed out that even at that, the situation is redeemable but only if there is strong willingness from all the stakeholders with government at all levels taking the lead.

She said what is required is for the country to go back to the drawing board and reassess of where we have got it wrong and then take genuine action to revamp the sector.

She mentioned that there is need to restore dignity back to the teaching profession, place the right value on education, and rebuild societal perception of the place and importance of education in human development.

“We should also start to celebrate merit and excellence in performance by letting the prizes reflect the value we place on education.

“Teacher education should be prioritised. More teachers who are competent should be engaged. There should be training and retraining of teachers. Facilities should be upgraded. There should also be a comprehensive review of curricular and teaching methods to reflect current realities.

“We also need to rejuvenate and strengthen the inspectorate arm of the education ministry. They need to be empowered by providing working tools: vehicles, fuel and so forth to aid their effectiveness.

“There should be stable policies. PTA partnerships and with well-defined boundaries should be encouraged. “Round pegs must be put in round holes in the appointment of political leadership of ministries of education at all levels.

Above all, the government should allocate adequate resources to education. It is possible for Nigeria to run free quality and quantitative education just like the one by then Western Region during the administration of late Chief Obafemi Awolowo as Premier.

“What government needs to do is to redirect what they spend on frivolities and mundane things to education.”

She lamented that the government would just need to do something to change this narrative and also ensure that out-of-school children who are in millions are enrolled in schools.

Holding the same view, Prof Kazeem re-echoed that the work is not only for the government but for all the stakeholders including homes, schools and society.

He added that it’s high time all these recommendations were implemented and the discourse was not just another talk show.

In his brief remark, the convener of Boiling Point Arena Public Discourse, Dr Ayo Arowojolu, said the essence of the monthly programme is to proffer workable solutions to societal challenges and make life worth living for all.

He said it is hoped that people or institutions concerned either in the private or public sector will use the recommendations at the discourse to better society.

He noted that this edition is the 19th in the series, thanking the two guest speakers for sharing their thoughts on the subject of the day.

Share this article

All right reserved. You may not reproduce or republish Edugist content in whole or part without express written permission. Only use the share buttons.

Support Edugist’s goal of giving education a voice

Even a small donation will make a difference.

Related Content

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
WeCreativez WhatsApp Support
Our customer support team is here to answer your questions. Ask us anything!
???? Hi, how can I help?
Scroll to Top

Fill the form below to download the WASSCE 2024 Timetable

Be the First to Know When we Publish new Contents

“Stay ahead of the educational curve! Subscribe to Edugist’s newsletter for the latest insights, trends, and updates in the world of education. Join our community today and never miss out on valuable content. Sign up now!”