The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) released the 2013 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) results, and according to perception and general gloom, it was a bust, for the students anyway. The office said;
“The general performance of candidates in this year’s examination shows remarkable improvement compared with last year. Ten candidates scored 300 marks and above, while 127,017 candidates scored between 1-159 marks.”
Six years ago, when I wrote my JAMB exam and scored a nice round 235, my mother was livid and threatened to send me to become a mechanic’s apprentice. The standards were higher then. 200 was the benchmark, passing this was as normal as breathing, and the questions weren’t the easiest.
We had phones then too, it was the beginning of the New Digital Age. Midnight calls and JAVA-gaming phones flourished, but that didn’t disturb the academics as drastically. The problem started with the birth of Social Media, the plump baby that nourished inter-personal communication a bit more than it should have. It reduced vast distances into second long beeps and gave every youth savvy enough to own a Blackberry, a strain of ADHD complete with a side of emotional attachment to an inanimate object.
It has also made grades and attention spans drop drastically. Social meetings do not need to wait before class breaks. Flirting, & chatting are at the fingertips of every young person who is supposed to be focusing hard on how and why they want to get into the University (and change the world).
Phones should be banned from secondary schools. Period.
The formative years are the ones before the teen is launched into the tedium of tertiary education, there they can control their urges to tweet, use Facebook and chat, since their lives are basically in their own hands. If they don’t, they fail. Secondary institutions should be responsible for sending the best versions of their students into the ‘real’ world and the digital dimension should be used, at most, to bring in more information to the students rather than serve as a distraction.
And to the student who is addicted to digital media but who believes it is normal behavior reading this -- know your priorities.
Yes, being able to message any of your friends at any moment and surf the web like a pro is a glorious thing, culled straight from the pages of a futuristic novel. Still, try not to forget that there is a life full of hardships and blood waiting beyond that softly glowing phone screen.
Yours sincerely, the hypocritical voice of a Recovering Addict.
More interesting (and kind of sad) information about the 2013 UTMEs, culled from The Punch;
The board withheld 12,110 results for possible disciplinary action.
The registrar said after thorough processing of answer scripts of the candidates who sat for the examination, the board discovered some forms of malpractice perpetuated during the conduct of the examination.
“However, the results of 68,309 candidates from various centres are undergoing further screening to ascertain the culpability of 12,110 candidates’ results.“
“About 40,692 candidates’ results were invalid due to either multiple shading or no shading at all. After processing all the results, the board also discovered that about 47,974 candidates were absent.“