JAMB Admission Sessions Running While Schools’ Academic Sessions are Stuck
Although it has always had to be like this but it’s high time it became shameful that our admission matriculation board and most of our schools are not running on the same calendar. It has always been like that and we seem to have gotten used to JAMB running far ahead with their calendar while the schools are far behind. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we had an excuse to justify that JAMB can be running on a calendar that is one or two sessions ahead of the calendars the schools are running, but now that the pandemic is not a pandemic anymore and things have been going how they should go with no excuse to stay stuck for a very long time like we were stuck during the pandemic, one would think schools should as well get on the running too already, but unfortunately, with JAMB recently giving the deadline for their 2022/2023 admissions and stating when the 2023/2024 admission session is likely to start, while most of the schools are still in their 2020/2021 session with no strong hope of even finishing this session in the year 2022. This is a shameful thing about our education system that must be paid attention.
I can tell a story of how no one was attending any private primary or secondary school in the early 90’s because there was nothing that was going to make anyone think the few private schools around would have anything to offer. Then the long NLC strike around the mid-90’s struck and made a lot of people had to take their kids to the private schools to keep them busy, which was when parents discovered that the private schools are better than the public schools. Hence, that marks the beginning of the public schools going extinct. Fast forward to 2022, even the children of the poor would go to private schools and rather wear torn uniforms and owe school fees and be sent out of classes every day than go to a public school; the public schools have been left for the children of the extremely poor families. I told this story so we can relate it to what is going to happen to the federal universities in few years’ time. I say this because when the private universities were coming in, no one wanted to take their children there, and this is not just because they couldn’t afford it, but also because everyone thought no private university would have enough resources to be able to deliver what the federal universities are delivering. Fast forward to 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022 when strikes and disrupted calendars are the normal things with federal schools now and private schools are becoming far equipped even than the federal schools, parents are now preferring private schools to federal schools—even when they always have to take up loans to be able to afford it. Here is why that is so: a private school’s calendar is not disrupted by anything, in fact they all want to run two sessions in one calendar year while the federal schools are completing only one semester per year.
So what is the best advice to give to a Nigerian parent to help their child escape the troubles of having to write the UTME multiple times before getting admitted and having to wait for another year after being admitted before they can actually resume school, and then strikes and schools’ closedowns hit steady to make them spend extra years on their programmes? My advice for parents who can afford it is to send their children abroad for studies, if you cannot afford sending your child to study abroad, then your next choice is to find a good private university—these schools don’t ever want to run slow, and that is good for your children and their time. If you cannot afford sending your child to a private school, just take up a state school; here you get what you pay for to a good extent, and time is also saved. Talking about time being saved, please don’t let anyone deceive you a graduate of a federal university has more worth in the labour market than a graduate of a private or state schools; that discrimination has disappeared. If your child must go to a federal school, just make sure you keep them on some practical programme or professional programme aside the schooling, so that as the school is trying to burn the time of their life away, they are gaining thee time back from adding more skills or certification outside of their school programme. For instance, if you have a child who just got admitted to study Management and Accounting in a school like OAU where the child is most likely to spend five to six years on a 4-session programme that should end in about 3 years, you are advised to put the child on some ICAN programme already, so that by the time they graduate from OAU they are also getting chattered as an accountant already. Our federal schools obviously cannot meet up with the JAMB calendar again, we should give up on wanting that already.