The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) says the 'mass failure' recorded in the 2021 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) was caused by the use of the wrong syllabus.
Daily Nigerian reported that many candidates who wrote the last UTME examination had alleged that they were given the old syllabus of 2015-2020 for Literature – in English text as against the one of 2020 – 2025.
The candidates said the mix-up in the syllabus was responsible for their failure in the examination.
However, the Board, in a statement issued by its Head of Public Affairs and Protocol, Dr Fabian Benjamin, described the claim as 'a fluke and a campaign by those whose source of illicit income has been further blocked.'
He said, "The rumour of mass failure is a fluke and a campaign by those whose source of illicit income has been further blocked. It is our belief that based on facts on the ground, every right-thinking Nigerian would question the 6,944,368 figure on which the 14% "pass" is based," the board said in the statement.
"To ensure that its syllabus is accessible to all candidates sitting its examination, the Board has made the material available on three platforms. The syllabus was issued to candidates through:
The Board's Integrated Brochure and Syllabus System (IBASS)
ii. The CD which is given to candidates after completion of registration
iii. The link https://www.ibass.jamb.gov.ng. as provided with the candidates' profile code.
"It is not automatic that the NECO/WAEC syllabus should transform into JAMB's otherwise there would not have been a need for a separate syllabus for the UTME.
"The UTME is not school-based and not an achievement test but a selection or ranking test which ordinarily does not require a syllabus and does not have room for fail or pass as in achievement tests," JAMB said.
It added that this year's performance was not significantly different from those of previous years.
"For instance, in the 2021 UTME, 1, 415,501 registered for both UTME/DE. Out of this figure, 1,340,003 candidates registered for UTME and 75, 498 registered for DE.
"The total number of candidates who took the UTME are 1, 300,722 with 78 389 candidates absent.
"You can then imagine the spuriousness of the figure of 6, 944,368 on which 14% is based. The truth is that this year's performance is not significantly different from those of previous years," the statement added.