Last year, a female candidate applied to study Economics at the University of Ibadan (UI) with excellent results in the school certificate examination and UTME. She had eight distinctions in eight subjects at the school certificate level and 284 marks in the JAMB conducted examination – a fantastic result combination that attracted UI to invite her for the post-UTME test.
During the interaction, the panel members were so “impressed” with her supposed results until someone from the team, probably out of curiosity, posed a simple question to her. The lady began to fidget. Initially, some of the panel members thought she was intimidated by the presence of some professors, thereby, giving her time to relax. But, alas, the candidate bungled the answer, as she later confessed that someone wrote the exams for her.
In another instance, some prospective university students lost their lives on the roads while travelling to various institutions for screening. Candidates risk their lives on unsafe roads. While some are involved in fatal accidents, others live with permanent disabilities. Unfortunately, they might not get the chance to write the exam, pass or even resume school.
With these experiences, there is debate out there, whether the post-UTME should continue or not. The Federal Government in 2005, during the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, introduced the policy of post-UTME screening by universities, which made it compulsory for tertiary institutions to test candidates after JAMB results before offering admission.
In 2017, the Nigerian senate began moves to scrap Post-UTME as it mandated its committee on tertiary education to meet with relevant stakeholders, especially JAMB to come up with recommendations on how to achieve the set goal.
According to the lawmakers, the move became necessary because the introduction of post–UTME failed to remedy the problems associated with JAMB and its existence poses more challenges for tertiary education. While the policy was aimed at addressing the poor quality of students entering the university, some of the lawmakers said the test actually re-introduced and entrenched many of the problems it sought to eliminate. They also alleged that the policy, meant to be a remedy to the decay in higher institutions of learning, became an avenue of extorting prospective students.
A non-governmental organisation, Education without Tears, had recently revisited the issue and called on the Federal Ministry of Education and National Universities Commission (NUC) to cancel post-UTME.