Democratic Socialist Movement

For Struggle, Solidarity and Socialism in Nigeria

By - DSM



By Keye Ewebiyi

Post-UME or what is now called Post-UTME was introduced in 2005 because the Universities Matriculation Examination (UME) as a means of ascertaining the merit of admission seekers had become corrupted and discredited. The Post-UTME is meant to be an additional test organised by tertiary institutions to screen students seeking admissions.

Since it started, this test has brought out some revelations which suggest the incompetence of UME. Some candidates who had good scores in UTME are known to have failed Post-UTME. These have made some people in the education sector to believe that Post-UTME could resolve the crisis of merit in the process of admission into tertiary institutions in Nigeria. Unfortunately, the test itself has turned out to be another obstacle in the path of students towards tertiary education.

The universities have seen the initiative as more of a revenue generation than ensuring quality candidates are admitted. Previously, after purchasing UTME forms for around N4, 500 and writing the exams, upon release of results, the candidates are further expected to pay as much as N5000 to write post-UTME before they can be considered for admission into any tertiary institutions. Following these costly charges, the National Universities Commission (NUC) ordered institutions to reduce the post-UTME fee to N1000, but only some tertiary institutions have obeyed.

Recently, the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board declared that tertiary institutions nationwide only have the capacity to admit 500,000 students out of over 6 million candidates that wrote the 2010 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME). In this brutish situation wherein millions of candidates are condemned to compete for a few admission spaces, the worst of corruption, cheating and malpractice is to be expected.

Added to this is a racket composed of officials of examination bodies, officials of the education ministry and principal officers of tertiary institutions and their hirelings which profits from this situation by giving out admission to the highest bidder. This has created a situation wherein those who have money to give to admission officials or are connected to highly placed officials or politicians get admitted irrespective of their results.

The introduction of Post-UME (now Post-UTME) instead of resolving this crisis has only upped the stake in favour of the admission racketeers. Now, real admission fraud goes on in the board rooms of most of Universities, Polytechnics and Colleges of Education. The Post-UTME examination questions are known to have been leaked before the examinations. Some complaints have been heard about the computation of results and there have been a huge number of candidates who passed Post-UTME but are denied admission into these institutions..

The point must be made that Post-UTME test can only achieve its aims if education is adequately funded and facilities in the existing tertiary institutions, secondary and pre-primary schools are improved and more schools established in order to create more admission spaces to accommodate at least another one million candidates.

If more admission spaces are created and education standard at primary and secondary schools restored, this will have positive effect on the character and conducts of entrance examinations like JAMB, WAEC and NECO. Candidates will be well equipped to rely on their intellect to write examinations while the availability of more admission spaces will make the business of admission racketeering highly unprofitable since the brutal competition for limited admission spaces must have been eliminated.

Therefore, instead of chasing shadows by believing that post-UTME can work to restore merit in the process of admission under the current situation of collapsing teaching facilities in Nigeria’s education sector, Nigeria students, education workers, youths and working class parents need to step up the struggle for adequate funding of education.

However, this struggle must be linked with the need to transform society from capitalism to socialism under which education will be free, functional and for all.