Is Nigeria's educational system on a decline?

Barely two months after Nazeer Usman Kokoshe tweeted at president Buhari to reduce the cut-off mark for the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) exam, his request was granted, and even surpassed. On Tuesday, 14th July 2015, Professor Dibu Ojerinde, registrar of the board, announced a 10 per cent drop in the cut-off mark  for universities, from 200 to 180, and a minimum score of 150 for polytechnics and colleges of education. An announcement made at the end of the 2015 combined policy meeting on admissions, held in the nations capital, Abuja.

The tweet got the attention of Nigeria’s former Head of State, General Atiku Abubakar, who was also mentioned, but he was not in support. His reply to Nazeer got a good number of retweets from Nigerians who were also not in support of the request.

It is therefore no surprise that the recent announcement made by JAMB has sparked a nationwide controversy on the future of Nigeria’s educational system. Just as General Abubakar highlighted in his tweet above, the nations’s educational sector is quite a mess, and this accounts for the large number of Nigerians patronage to foreign education. It has to be fixed. The question now is, is JAMB’s latest decision a step backward or forward? As with almost everything, Nigerians have taken to social media platforms to vent.

Some Nigerians have said that the board made the new decision to boost their relevance, since that has been in question, owing to the fact that students still have to sit for university entrance examination – post UME – after taking JAMB. These set of people are of the opinion that the board is useless, and should therefore be scrapped, especially after their announcement on Tuesday.

A few Nigerians are however in support of the boards decision; Alero, a 26 year old photographer said, “students will only face the challenge of passing post-UME, since they will easily pass JAMB’s new cut-off mark. Just one mountain to climb, as opposed to two.” Though it is not clear whether or not Nazeers tweet triggered the boards new policy, the young lad must definitely be ecstatic with the news.

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