Candidates for the 2021 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) have urged the government and other stakeholders to improve security around schools so that the pursuit of education is not jeopardized. In separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) just after day one of the examinations in different centers visited in Lagos, the candidates expressed their concerns.
According to NAN, around 1.5 million people have registered for the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) examination, which will be held in 758 locations across the country.
Miss Emmanuela Onah, who said she wanted to pursue medicine at Babcock University in Ogun, said she was looking forward to a strong showing in the exam.
Onah, on the other hand, is concerned about the country’s growing instability.
According to her, the growing attacks on schools are concerning and may have an impact on children’s enthusiasm for learning. Another candidate, Chidera Mbagwu, stated that education is a child’s right and that the government must do all necessary to improve facilities and other learning aids in schools, particularly the universities and polytechnics.
She stated that if the country is to achieve its goal of accelerated development, continual gunman attacks on schools must be faced head-on.
Mbagwu, who plans to study law, is optimistic that the country’s security situation will improve soon, allowing normalcy to return to all sectors of the economy.
“Right now, I have just taken the examination but my hope and prayer is for all these kidnappings and killings, both in and outside school environment, to stop because it is threatening our existence as a people and dampening our quest for higher learning,’’ she said
Another candidate who took the exam, Paula Wilson, emphasized the need of state and local governments working together with the federal government to develop skills acquisition centers in all schools across the country.
Wilson, who also wishes to study medicine, believes that students must begin to look inward and embrace critical thinking in order to uncover their God-given abilities and guarantee their future.
“For me, I think gone are such days when people used to rely heavily on their academic qualifications to make it in life.
“All that have changed now, going by the situations we find ourselves in now.
“I want to urge governments, at all levels, to assist us in the direction of skills so that we can engage ourselves meaningfully and be able to fend for ourselves, without waiting for any job opportunity.
“This, to my belief, will go a long way in reducing poverty, unemployment, restiveness and other vices among youths,’’ she stated.
Source: The Vanguard.