Every year millions of Naira are spent so that Nigerian students can gather into various exam centers across the nation to write what is in my opinion one of the most useless exams in Nigeria … the JSS exam.
An exam that nobody ever really uses for anything, it is not required for any job, no embassy ever asks for it, and contrary to popular belief not even Secondary Schools really require it but yet every year without fail, millions of Nigerians gather to write the exam. Why? Why are we spending resources to write an exam that people barely use…that serves no real purpose?
After all, some people will argue that in the Nigerian 6:3:3:4 educational system the JSS exams are justified…
You get 6 years of Primary school education and then you write the common entrance exam, then another 3 years of Junior Secondary School and then JSS Exam, which is needed on paper to enter your last 3 years of Secondary school aka Senior Secondary School. But let’s stop here for a moment, when was the last time you stumbled across a purely Junior Secondary School in Nigeria? Try never…
For the most part, Secondary schools in Nigeria are 6 years. It might be called JSS/SSS on paper but in reality and execution all six years are one and the same. But yet every year, we write this special National exam that we cannot even afford to write … all because we have always done it this way!
What will happen if we stopped writing JSS exams in Nigeria?
Let me tell you…absolutely nothing. Nothing will change. The JSS3 students entering SSS1 will not be more/less prepared, teachers will not be better, more jobs will not be created. Absolutely nothing. Okay I take that back … something will change …
In 2012, N400 billion (8.4% of the Nigeria national budget) was allotted to education. Of this amount, and this is key 345 billion (82%) was dedicated to recurrent expenditure (salaries, overhead costs, etc) while the remainder was dedicated to capital expenses (aka Campus facilities and buildings).
Let me help you understand that a little bit … of our entire National Budget only a measly 1% is set aside for building/maintaining educational facilities. The majority of our educational money is spent on over head costs like … drum roll … JSS exams.
Exams cost money, but stupidity costs even more money. There is a reason why our University facilities are shitty.
Now, I am not saying eliminating the
useless JSS exams will automatically transform our university facilities. However, what I am driving at is this … if we do not get an educational minister or leader bold enough and aggressive enough to cut costs in useless overheads like the JSS exams, then our students will continue slinging shit over the fence.
NOTE: The United Nations Educational and Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) recommends dedicating at least 26% of a nation’s annual budget to the education sector. Nigeria’s dedicates only 8.4% and of that already small 8.4% only a tiny amount (about 18%) is used to improve our facilities.
Nigeria…the problems are plenty the solutions are kinda obvious.
Reference: Phillip Consulting Educational and Employability Survey Report March 2014. Click education_survey_report_mar2014 to download the report.
Okechukwu Ofili is an author, speaker, and blogger and a The Trent Elite Voice. Follow him on twitter, Facebook or subscribe to his blog for more honest talk and as @ofilispeaks on instagram for more sketches! To bring Ofili to your school or organization as a speaker simply go here. His third book How Intelligence Kills was published in December 2013, order it at http://bit.ly/intelligencekills.
The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.