I wrote JAMB six times. Yes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 times! That’s 6 years. 6 years of buying, filling and submitting forms. Then waiting for exam centres to be released, having to go search for the location of those centres a week before the exam, getting to the hall on d-day and seeing all sorts of malpractices taking place and being forced to make contributions for ‘settlement’ of the invigilator so that ‘we’ can do what we want to do without interruption (who said I wanted to do anything anyway?!). Having to wait 6 – 8 weeks for the results to be released and then the hustle and grind to get admitted into the university. In my day, there was no post-JAMB so you definitely had to make the cut-off mark to get into the school and if you didn’t make the mark, you have to prepare for the next year again. Did I mention pre-JAMB lessons? *sigh*
I don’t know and haven’t met anyone who has written it more than 6 times and I really look forward to meeting them and sharing experiences. But that was 6 ‘wasted’ years of my life, depending on how you look at it. Every once in a while, I pause to ponder and think on why an above average, once straight-A student like me had to write ordinary JAMB six times. Maybe it is that I wasn’t that brilliant after all. Or maybe God was not on my side at those times…maybe.
One thing I do know is that I would have appreciated some guidance, someone pointing me in the right direction. For example, if someone had told me that the myth of catchment areas was actually very true, I would have jejely applied to a university in my state, Anambra, and not a university in Lagos. After applying to UNILAG for 4 straight years, I realized I was getting old and couldn’t continue writing JAMB so I had to find alternatives. The importance of a guidance counselor or even a mentor cannot be over-emphasized.
About a million and half sat this year’s JAMB exam, and I hear there aren’t up to half a million available slots in Nigerian tertiary intuitions. So a huge number out of that over a million people will have to write JAMB again next year – to put it plainly, only one in three of this year’s JAMB batch have a shot at a university admission. This is the sad truth.
JAMB is to universities what the Pearly Gates are to Heaven; one can’t get admitted into universities without a JAMB result. The results for the last JAMB exam have been released but more than 27,000 results were withheld for whatever reason. It can be a terrible hassle trying to find out why the results were withheld or even asking that the result be released. One might as well just go buy another JAMB form when next year comes around. The cycle begins again… Remember when family and friends would ask that you pray on your paper so that it doesn’t get lost again? You should try it oh!
Oh by the way, there was no telecoms company named MTN or Econet Wireless the first time I sat JAMB ( I got that off twitter). Go figure.