Scrap JAMB, NECO, And Save Nigerian Education!

by Ugochukwu Ejinkeonye

When the Joint Admissions and Matriculations Board (JAMB) was set up to organize entrance examinations for candidates into our universities, the thinking was that with a unified body centrally coordinating the examinations, it would be easy to maintain the same standards in the admission process of all the universities, and ensure that from every university, quality graduates are turned out every other year to the progress and edification of the country. This sounded good and sweet at that time, and indeed, for sometime, the conceivers of this policy were sufficiently vindicated and applauded. But, perhaps, the well-meaning originators of this policy did not imagine that a time will come when JAMB will become the very rampaging evil threatening to pull down our entire tertiary educational system. Indeed, JAMB has become an idea whose time has gone, and whatever good points it had scored in times past have been irremediably soiled by its present foul record. All that remains now is to reward JAMB with a fitting space in the rubbish heap of history. The Universities can then commence the painful task of clearing the horrible mess already created by JAMB.

The ruinous evil of JAMB commenced slowly. We first began to see the Board being overwhelmed at examination centres due to insufficient invigilators and lack of adequate security. This is in spite of the huge sums accruing to it from the sales of application forms. This failure by JAMB gave room for widespread malpractices at examination centres. JAMB’s panic reaction to this has been totally wrong-headed and counterproductive: it would most unfairly cancel the whole results of some centres, or even whole areas, thereby punishing innocent candidates in the process. Even after organizing the exams for many years, JAMB has been, most unfortunately, unable to demonstrate any ability to master its job.

But that is only a marginal bit of the evil. Soon, JAMB began to unfold its own ungodly agenda, evolved a ‘cash and carry’ policy, to lighten the burden of privileged students, and improve the fortune of its irremediably corrupt staff. Gradually, we began to hear about candidates whose incredibly high scores do not reflect their known level of intelligence. And this became big business, in fact, the most lucrative in town presently! All any dunce needs to ‘score’ 300 to qualify to read Medicine is to carry a ‘Ghana-must-go’ bag to JAMB offices. The racket is so pervasive that even typists are becoming very wealthy from altering scores. You won’t be surprised that even a cleaner can secure you a higher score than some senior member of staff. All it takes is a reliable ‘business partner’ in the computer room, or even nearness to oga’s driver or girlfriend! It is that bad. The story in town is so dirty.

The danger now is that after all the dunces had purchased the high scores, say from 280-300 (depending on how much you can afford), the intelligent candidates scoring 250-260-270 by their own efforts are disadvantaged. Now, Universities have specified number of students to be admitted for particular courses at a time. And cut-off marks are dependent on the scores of the candidates. By the time a particular department begins to count down until it gets the number of students its facility can accommodate, and then pegs its cut-off marks at 280 and above, or mercifully 277, all others who had scored lower than that are told that they have ‘failed’ the UME, and so no admission for them. Then the ‘bright’ and ‘successful’ ones are offered admission. Congratulations!

But by the time the hapless teachers meet these high scoring students in class, it then becomes obvious that JAMB had given them live snakes in their hands. And that is when the secret behind the high scores emerges. Many of them are not even able to make the lowest pass in any exam or test. They cannot even understand the basic courses which are designed in such a way that even an average O/level student can tackle them comfortably. Yet, these are supposed to be extremely brilliant students judging from JAMB scores!

How long will this nation continue to sit still and watch JAMB continue frustrating out intelligent students from University education, while privileged dunces get all the priority placements in the admission list?

And because many of those students that JAMB downloads into the universities are unable to cope, they will resort to joining cults to intimidate lecturers to pass them. Others would indulge in large-scale bribery of lecturers for marks. And for the girls, the key to success is their ever cheap bodies. All these could have been avoided, or minimally reduced, if JAMB had given the universities the truly qualified candidates. So, I blame the unethical practices of lecturers largely on JAMB. Yes, some lecturers sexually harass students, that is a fact that cannot be denied. But it is now clear that more female students sexually assault their lecturers; in fact, some girls would almost rape their teachers! This is a fact. That’s why many of them are almost going about nude. Some visit their lecturers at odd hours barely dressed. Now, I have even heard that in some departments where some lecturers are uncompromising, some departmental secretaries and clerks collect their own ‘JAMB dividends’ in cash and in kind and effect changes in marks especially in courses that had large classes, where it would be difficult to detect.

Several conscientious University administrators and lecturers are highly concerned about this evil JAMB is perpetrating. I believe this was why the University of Lagos made moves recently to make their incoming students take qualifying exams organized by the university after JAMB had given them its jumbo marks. JAMB had succeeded in frustrating that effort by UNILAG but how far can decent society tolerate JAMB’s evil monopoly and allow it to kill our education? Some parents who are only interested in their children just getting degree certificates may continue to cheer JAMB on but for how long? Other Universities should join forces with UNILAG and fight JAMB out of our education. Concerned parents who desire quality education should join the fight.

In fact, all lovers of education should join their voices in this call for JAMB to be scraped. Let every university admit its own students, and organize its own entrance examinations. If any university then decides to go the way of JAMB and convert its admission process into a cash box venture, then it is only the products of that particular university that will be termed Toronto . Those of other universities would have credibility. That is how it is in other nations.

Helping JAMB to carry out this evil agenda is the one they call NECO.Don’t ask me what that means. I hardly know. All I say about NECO presently is that students who failed woefully in the WAEC-organized SCCE make distinctions in it without sweat. I have continued to be worried by this until recently when I made enquiries about this NECO. It was then I was told that the organizers of NECO, like those at JAMB, have made everything easy for students. They provide easy escape for students who are incapable of passing the WAEC-organized SSCE. About forty percent of the total score in every subject a student will offer in NECO comes from the course assessment tests organized by the secondary schools, while the NECO exams scores make up for the remaining sixty.

Now, it is the desire of every school, especially the private ones, that its students pass very well, in order to attract more enrollments. So, after the course assessment scores have been compiled, the authorities of many of these schools would upwardly moderate the scores. This puts every student at an advantage, so that no matter what he or she scores in the NECO exams, it would be difficult to not pass.

For the teachers, this has brought their once elusive reward within reach. And they are making the best of this opportunity. All a teacher needs now to lure that ripening Senior Secondary student to his bedroom is just to drop the hint that her test scores are low in his subjects, and that that would affect her performance in NECO if she does nothing to remedy it. And for the boys, Daddy must be made to come and see Mr. Teacher with some crispy notes if the boy must be ‘helped’ to do well in NECO.

Now, the story all over town is that some study centres have become liason offices for JAMB. I am told that, right now, candidates know which centres to go to for lessons. Reason? At those ‘special’ centres, you are assured of very high scores in the JAMB exams because the owners of those study centers are ‘properly connected.’ These things must be investigated by the relevant authorities.

Indeed, all this nonsense must stop. Join the crusade to scrap this evil duo today: JAMB and NECO must go. NOW!

Ugochukwu Ejinkeonye

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shaks March 2, 2011 - 11:21 am

you are a wise fellow. God bless you.

Francis Uduimoh April 20, 2010 - 11:20 am

I absolutely agree with u sir.Dis is d major reason why our academic standard is dropping drastically.I wonder where dis country will end up if dis corrupt-mindedness of ours should continue.GOD HELP US!

precious ajuru January 15, 2010 - 10:52 am

please somebody tell me,is neco accepted outside nigeria?maybe in europe! u may also send ur reply 2 my facebook please.(precious Ajuru).

opeyemi lawal July 19, 2009 - 2:32 pm


eveakpos July 23, 2008 - 1:37 pm

there is no lie in what you siad jamb is like any parastatal in nigeria the very people who have been entrusted with the job todo are the very ones who corupt it.i am of the opinion that every university be allowed to carry out thier own admission as they deem fit.such universities will be careful not to take in students that will not measure up to thier standard,seeing that they will have to face international ratings.

Sp-juwon June 2, 2008 - 11:23 am

I agree and not. To scrap jamb is not the solution bcos i’ve written JAMB four time yet no admission. I think, corruption level in Nigeria is the most problem now! For example; the centre i used to write my 2007 UME, one big man came into the hall and bribed our invigilators just for him to give her daughter already solved UME question. What do you expect us to say. So, i think corruption is the problem. At the end they seized our results. But they later released. But it was non-sense.

My is that; i will not give up until i peak up. bcos the downfall of a man is not the end of his life. Thank ugo. may GOd continues to enriches ur pocket and also leads ur family to right path.

With love!! Be jovial!!!


orunta chukwuemeka May 29, 2008 - 1:39 pm

i agree fully wit d writer on d topic of jamb.i really think they should scrap jamb but i disagree wit d writer on the topic of neco.

olumide March 26, 2008 - 9:44 am

it is nice of you.atleast people that are ready to learn are plenty so any one that is interested in UME should be ready to read . THANKS

olayiwola aderemi March 17, 2008 - 1:41 pm

talking about jamb, i emphatically agree with ugo, they should be scraped, they lack organisation, but neco, i do not agree with ugo, cos he is acessing them with junejuly, what about neco[private]? he should be fare. dont think i am using neco, not at all.

Nkechi February 20, 2008 - 3:43 am

wat happen is till the corruptibleness of our country nigeria did days one pronuced briliant can’t pass his/her paper bcs of his financial weakness so nigeria have not yet resolve to do anything better for their own children bt frighting to be recognized out there infact nigeria re still in the aspect of consideration.

judith mohammed February 9, 2008 - 2:15 pm

jamb is the best to gain admission in to the university for any course

innocent October 11, 2007 - 7:21 am

great works u guys r doin keep it up.thanks 2 neco cos witout them i'm not wat i am.

nancy October 6, 2007 - 3:43 pm

its really nice

babatunde bradford August 15, 2007 - 10:22 pm

yeah, it is welcoming, but let us face d actual fact,UNILAG should stop giving dis brilliant students hell all d time. their post UME exam is highly compromised. and dis is very grievious and disheartning.

light June 8, 2007 - 10:52 am

i will like neco to growth fat

yusuf February 17, 2007 - 2:52 pm

neco should be scrap

okpulor chukwudi allen October 4, 2006 - 2:52 pm

i will like to see my result in my waec and neco

please, send it to me to my box

itoro umoren September 21, 2006 - 5:10 am

This article lacks sense

Nkpecha Uba Samuel September 6, 2006 - 8:13 am


michael September 4, 2006 - 5:05 am

nigeria is corrupt simple

onyedika June 14, 2006 - 11:54 am

how can we see the best result of jamb 2006?

onyedika June 14, 2006 - 11:51 am

i score 9 credit in all subjet i need an admission,so thats why i write onyou to admit me

pascal May 31, 2006 - 5:09 am

i enjoyed this your article when i read it and i support it

amaechi anthonia a May 24, 2006 - 6:33 am

i agree with you that the admission policy using JAMB should be is no longer an effective means of offering admission to deserving students.talking of NECO,i think they are still growing and deserve to be encouraged.

jenny kay May 22, 2006 - 4:46 pm

I read your papers on jamb and i was pleased that there are still good nigarians found around who could tell the truth.

Anonymous December 24, 2005 - 6:41 pm

please somthing must be done to curb this ungodliness in this country

FOr some of these reasons students produced in Nigeria when traveled outside are not respected for their certificates .

Anonymous December 22, 2005 - 10:05 am

i do not think WAEC is Preferable to NECO and I will want those who always complain about these organize body to tell me what happen to WAEC question that was expose to member of the public during the last examination,

Anonymous December 2, 2005 - 1:32 pm

would mpce candidates sit for screening

mohammed yakubu, ELEGANZAR INTERNATIONAL ACADEMYKA October 28, 2005 - 10:30 am

really agree with the idea raised in this article but i do not support the scrapping of JAMB/UME.the body has really done its best in bringing out the best in Ngerian students but the efforts of jamb has been made ineffective later on by the coruupt is the society that is the problem and not jamb body.Look at the standard of

the examsit has not been compromised.the roots of examination malpractices could be connected to the lecturers and the teachers writing exams for their wealthy studentse.t.c.The solution is to create a body that will be supported by the constitution to curb or erradicate the urgly situation in the education sector.JAMB AS A BODY SHOULD REMAIN because come to think of itwe all passed through the universities and we witness how corrupt some lecturers are toothe exams to be conducted by the universities for new intakes could also suffer the same ugly situations it meant to cure.

Anonymous September 22, 2005 - 2:56 pm

The article says or talks more on siding waec neco is even more strict and better than waecmaybe you have not known the part of waec just try to ask some good nigerian student that are truthfull they will tell you in all no examination board in nigeria is to be rated better what they are doing is business i hope you understand what i mean by businessfor the university entrance lets see how there's will be but remember this is nigeria. The only thing is for the nigerianchild be given good education without which not good can ever happen in nigeria educational system even with ten more board.lets first start with the primary education and see if there will be any change because i know that students are been thought so what do you expect them to writei know that i day it may good or worst thankgod all our politicans have their children studing abroad.thanks emmanuel(rsust phc)

Anonymous August 10, 2005 - 5:41 am

I agree to some extent the view of the writer on his perception of Jamb and the organisations terrible blunders but i totally disagree with him on his views on NECO. My reasons are very obvious to the watchers of education in recent years.

NECO has brought back sanity and competition into the SSCE exams. Considering the rate at which student failed exams in WAEC and how result are being withheld for no reasons. NECO examination question in the last 4years compared to that WAEC has proved that never is out to make a statement: which is COMPETENCE and MERIT.

The last 3 examinations conducted by WAEC was mared with malpractices and outrageous leakages which led to WAEC rescheduling about 7papers from their last exam.

YES JAMB should be SCRAPED and forgotten but taking it to NECO would return our education to the dangerous grip of WAEC.

Anonymous August 4, 2005 - 1:44 pm

it highlighted the image of jamb.what a mess!i appreciate dthe article not because ive fallen victim of this dastardly but for the growth of our educational system.Thanks!

Anonymous July 13, 2005 - 6:41 am

Is a fact as straight as a cigar stick. Who is to blame When the parents pay money to the so called teachers in classroom to pass their children. The teachers cannot teach well since they are blinded(Bribed) the only alternative is to ruin such student's destiny with money. God will forgive us. The solution:I will not be involved my childrenmy friendsmy schoolmy colleagues etc will not be polluted to do those bad things. God will eventually re-create Naija.


Anonymous July 3, 2005 - 11:14 am

mr ugochukwu dealt excellently on the very issues that have made rubbish our education system and standard. getting admission to read msc or phd in europe best universities are no longer possible. our decrees are no longer recognised. a MBBS degree in medicine from any well knwn first generation university with a first class or second class upper will not get admission not without passing a qualifying exams. all these nonsense are consequent of the evil of jamb and neco. they must be scrpped by any means necessary. benson.

Timogose April 5, 2005 - 5:13 pm

The issues raised are real but me thinks scapping is not the solution. Which aspect of our national life is not experiencing decay? You dont suggest beheading as cure for headache! What we need is attitudinal change, a re-orientation of values. This can only be brought about by a true leadership, the majority of current occupiers of political positions lack the capacity.

Afolabi v. Adebayo January 1, 1970 - 12:00 am

I agree with Mr. Ugochuku Ejikeonye 100%.That is the reality of the situation in tertiary education in Nigeria now and it’s very disheartening.The intelligent and worthy but less privileged ones suffer it mostly.JAMB should be scrapped with immediate effect.


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