The problem of our country is linked to poor imagination and bad policies. We leave the serious and stick to the mundane. It has been so since independence and in recent times this poor attitude is growing in intensity and the pains are all around us. Joint Admission and Matriculation Board is one good example. Since the body was created many years ago it has remained a major issue in national discourse and from the look of things the debate will not abate.
Last week the Registrar of the body Prof. Ishaq Oloyede was all over the place talking the body and its activities. He had prominent appearances on African Independent Television and Channels Television talking about the responsibility of the body, finance and the last admission into Nigerian Universities conducted by the organization. Prof. Oloyede has not been alone on these misplaced engagements, in-fact a significant population of the citizens have been on the JAMB issue since the body was established. Often times the discussions have not been about the real issues, it was never about giving quality education to our teeming youths who desire it neither was it about vacancies, curriculum and productive kind of education.
The focus has rather been on primordial aspect of our national life. It has been mainly about quota allocation, catchment areas and discriminatory cutoff points. Recently it graduated from these and moved into money making and which of the administrations of JAMB returned what amount. Make no mistake about this; matters of credibility of processes and transparent accounting are vital in every aspect of our national life. We must note that the absence of the two variables has largely accounted for the misfortune our country and her citizens have become. So in the case of JAMB it is relevant, like I observed earlier credibility and accountability are important, but in this instance it is like a right action in a wrong setting.
A bad system will naturally throw up negative outcomes and this will be irrespective of efforts made to patch up things here and there. This is the lesson of history and it has remained a cardinal truth for centuries running. JAMB is fraudulent and it was built on a very deceptive foundation. It was not a product of altruistic motives, it ought not to have been established if ours were to be a serious nation with very critical leaders that desire sustainable development. JAMB came because some of our leaders with small minds believe they have to halt the progress of a section of the nation while promoting the equalization or rise of another. With the creation of JAMB our country inadvertently created a monster in the sense that it promoted discrimination and made it a state policy and unfortunately the victims are our adolescents, the group we describe as leaders of tomorrow. A young man or woman who grows up in an environment that discriminates against him or her will never see any reason to love that society, talk less of pursuing her good. Patriotism and nationalism will certainly be meaningless in their ears, no amount of teaching, persuasion and indoctrination will be enough to make them have faith in that kind of country.
Today there is so much hate in the country and the young population is seething with dangerous anger and with them there is deep revulsion. Everywhere there is fire, lives and properties are being destroyed with or without provocation, smiles have departed the land, everyone is angry and there seem to be no idea of the cause and in consequence no solution. For each destruction we prescribe more military force, we apply that and yet no result; rather each application of force tend to provoke perpetrators of violence into more vicious actions. The government and the citizens seem not to know what is happening but the truth is that the seed of the disorder were sown by our many acts of perfidy. JAMB is one among them.
It is a harbinger of bad omen. Its womb is full of discrimination and since will always give birth to a lion; JAMB is incapable of spilling out anything good. In the education architecture JAMB is a distorting influence and if we want progress then this evil must be exorcised. Our country is not the first to have the challenge of inequality in educational attainment among its component parts, America our natural example was hit by it. The black population and other minorities were disadvantaged but they didn’t have to stop the progress of one section for the others to meet up, instead the authorities introduced what is called affirmative action. Affirmative action meant special scholarship programs, education loans, establishment of most school in a given area, other incentives in the like manner. This is not what we did here, our leaders brought politics and bad mind into what ordinarily should be a very serious national issue and by so doing ended up creating a monster that is eating our children and their parents, disfiguring development and producing fertile atmosphere for social tension. JAMB is also an additional bureaucracy with all the wastages in funds and human capital attached to it.
Those who made money in JAMB and refused to remit same should be tried and send to jail. The high returns by Prof. Ishaq Oloyede administration is good and wonderful confirmation that citizens can act efficiently if our leaders took time to improve on the leadership recruitment process. Most of us agreed that a significant part of our problem has to do with the leadership recruitment process; having said that, it is important to state that we ought to be scandalized that a nation still as undeveloped like ours is raking billions of naira gains from the young population who are hungry for education. It is wicked. It is abandonment of responsibility by the leadership and the Nigerian state. It is imposing unnecessary burden on the students and their parents. Education should be free in a country like ours for all levels.
The solution; scrap JAMB today not tomorrow!!! JAMB is a misnomer. Return admission matters to the Universities. Let them admit and leave by the quality of students they take. It makes more sense now that every state has atleast one tertiary institution. This was the practice before JAMB was introduced and from the look of things it meets International best practices.