“If a test is administered and the majority of the students are failing then the content of the test should be checked".

This is according to a Sustainable Development Goals Desk Officer at the National Mathematical Centre, Olatunji Jekayinfa.

He is worried that the cut-off mark released by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) after the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) held in May would have some negative impact on the already fallen standards of education. 

Meanwhile, a Director with the Consultancy Services Unit of the University of Abuja, Professor Vicky Sylvester, argues that candidates’ poor performance or otherwise in UTME does not really determine the best among them.

“There are 4 subjects that the students are expected to take for UTME examination and each of them is 100 marks.

“So, for the four subjects the total score is 400 and the average score is 200, if the cut-off marks will be below 200 it is unacceptable,” he explained.

But the Acting Secretary-General, Nigeria Union of Teachers, Dr Mike Ike-Ene, said the drop in the cut-off mark did not mean that the candidates did not prepare well for the examination.

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He said that it could be that the UTME examination was above their level.

“I don’t think that lowering the cut-off mark is an indication that the candidates are failures, rather it depends on the standard that was used for the examination,” he said.

Previously, the cut-off mark for universities had hovered between 180 marks and 200 marks, while that for polytechnics and colleges of education ranged from 160 marks to 180 marks.