It is a known fact that the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) will start selling forms to prospective candidates from 15th January 2024 and therefore both the parents and schools that want to present their children and students for the examination have a big role to play before the sales of the forms begin.
Firstly, the parents and schools must ensure that the children and students have written and passed the West African Senior School Certificate Examination or National Examination Council (NECO) and passed very well or prepare extensively to register based on awaiting results of the 2024 WASSCE. What matters is before the processing of 2024/2025 admission, your child or student must have passed either WASSCE or NECO very well with distinctions. Apart from that, all parents and schools that want to register their children and students must ensure their National Identification Number (NIN) is intact for the generation of profile code leading to the purchase of UTME pin when the sale of forms begins.
Parents and schools must ensure that the children and students have valid and functional email addresses. They must ensure all the children’s and students’ personal data are 100% correct and in line with NIN records, like surname, first name, middle name, and personal phone number already attached to NIN during the registration for NIN and not another personal phone number, state of origin must be ascertained, nationality of the child/student, local government, contact address, exams town, preferred state of the exams, date of birth, gender, choice of university, subject combination before buying UTME form and before registering online.
If this information is not ready before registration, the children/students have already failed and may only write the examination for writing sake or may not get registered, and if registered, may not achieve his or her academic goals through that examination. The parents and schools also need to know that the UTME syllabus is fully different from the SSCE syllabus, and therefore, they must get their children/students the syllabus and the subject combination, which Use of English Language is a compulsory subject for all courses.
But can children/students of today who are fond of watching films, Facebooking, running commentary for football clubs, and visiting friends around the neighbourhood 24/7 study this syllabus alone? Of course, they suppose to, but it is obvious they will fail themselves. So, parents have to enrol them for strict and disciplined lessons or schools that want to present candidates for the exams must create extra hours for the UTME syllabus and the parents must be ready to pay for it because the school fees do not cover it.
So, if your children’s schools are not charging extra fees and at the same time they are preparing your children for the West African Senior School Certificate Examination and National Examination Council and they are doing well you need to give kudos to such a school and your children need to go and give back to such a school after conquering the world in the nearest future. But historically reverse has been the case.
Schools need to be advised to name their price so that the teachers can adequately take care of the UTME syllabus before influencing parents to pay for UTME forms at exorbitant rate above what is obtainable in the general market. School is not charging fees to teach UTME syllabus but is doubling UTME registration fees for what?
Now to the question of how schools will be treating UTME syllabus when they have not finished SSCE syllabus. A reliable school that wants to prepare students for UTME that have more than SSCE syllabus must have properly and adequately finish the SSCE syllabus at the end of SS2. This is the only way at first term of SS3 UTME syllabus can be addressed while revision of SSCE syllabus continue at the same time in order to protect the curriculum that was implemented between SS1 and SS2 or else the students will perform very well in UTME and fail WASSCE woefully.
To achieve all these, parents must be well counselled or else they will pity the students to the extent that they will be helping their children to do revisional assignments on SS1 and 2 work which has been counter-productive till date.
Parents and schools need to get UTME past questions for the Jambites, and the best that was drawn in line with the UTME syllabus is Jamb Remix past questions which is a typical base. So, before they obtain the registration form, they must all attain 100/100 on all the past questions topic by topic no memorization of solutions, and the lessons or school teachers must create time to correct them before certifying them to register for UTME.
The whole world may ask me, what about the Jambites themselves? Yes, they are the subject matter and the major stakeholders because parents, schools, and tutorial centres are not writing examinations. Students who want to write UTME 2024 must have been counselled last session or two sessions ago about their future ambitions in line with their individual academic status and history, and not by dictating to their parents or ordinary interest without having sound fundamental knowledge of the course.
Most of the students often say ‘I want to study Medicine and Surgery, but I hate Biology and Chemistry, I hate staying in the Laboratory. I want to be an Accountant, but I hate Mathematics and Economics. I want to study Law but I don’t want to learn Literature again. I want to be an Engineer but I have dropped studying Further Mathematics since second term of SS1’. Automatically, they are not qualified for the courses of their choice because they lack the prerequisite knowledge that are expected.
Students need to know that there is no way for examination malpractices in UTME. So, you cannot have power over CBT centre jamb officials the way you have power over your schools’ teachers. Millions of their parents can’t buy over CBT centres because CCTV cameras are everywhere.
Annually, CBT centres, parents and students often face legal sanctions. I know the majority of the students of today are now the ‘Director’ of most of the homes, dictating how their parents can help to pay for malpractices. You will all be sanctioned even if you are in thousands across the nation. Sit up now and conquer the world by yourself. Your academic record at the nursery school shows 85% of you have first-class brain but have ruined the intellectual capacity with the independence your parents and the entire stakeholders have given you.
Ogungbayi is the Board Chairman of MIMS Educational Services, Lagos, and one of the Project Coordinators of the Academic Excellence Initiative (AEI).