By Uche Amunike
The 2021 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination, UTME, conducted by the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board, JAMB, recorded low scores by the candidates as only 168,613 students scored above 200 out of the Maximum 400 Marks.
According to the documents issued by JAMB after it’s policy meeting in Abuja, Thursday, the poor performance was in no way close to the 404,740 people that scored 200 out of the 1.9 million that took the exam in 2020.
A total of 2.11 million applicants sought admission into different tertiary institutions in Nigeria, alongside over 300,000 direct entry applicants who didn’t have any need to write UTME. However 1,428,208 applicants applied with over 300,000 as Direct Entry candidates.
According to the breakdown given by JAMB, 168,613 people scored 200 marks and above; 64,323 people scored 190-199, while 90,688 applicants scored between 180 and 189 marks.
As for the range of 140-159 marks, 369,023 candidates filled that gap, 170,816 of them scored between 130 and 139 marks.
Because JAMB now allows institutions to fix their own cut-off points, there is a likelihood that majority of those that may get admitted within the range of those who scored 140 marks and above because there are about 600,000 spaces to be filled.
Records have it that the admission spaces for year 2020 have not been filled, as only 551,553 out of the 600,000 spaces were filled up as at August 27, this year.
The cut-off points for 2021 admissions however, have not been decided by the schools.
In 2020, a total of 4,948 candidates scored 300 and above and yet, were unable to secure admission because of a number of factors.
The most affected candidates are those who applied to study medicine in different universities, as 1,085 candidates that scored above 300 marks in 2020 were not admitted to study medicine; four of them were not admitted to read Law; 214 were denied Engineering; 92 were not allowed to go for Sciences; 43 were denied Social Sciences; 13 were denied Administration and one person was denied Arts.
The factors that encumbered their admission process included non-acceptance of offer; duplication of application; wrong combination of subjects and also absence absence at UTME screening.
In 2020, the most subscribed University, the University of Ilorin in Kwara state recorded 72,869 as against 78,466 recorded this year by the Kaduna Polytechnic. Kaduna led the polytechnic level for two years, while Babcock University, Ilisan Remo in Ogun state led on the level of private Universities.
For the year 2021, Oyo state recorded the highest number of candidates with 82,521 which Osun recording 74,234 and Ogun, 70,971.
Meanwhile, parents have expressed their displeasure at the poor performance of their wards while most of the candidates were pained by the fact that they studied hard for the examination, only to find out that they got low scores.
One of the parents, Mr Badmus Owolabi explained that it was important for the examination Council to look into the situation, noting that most of the results did not favor the candidates.