COMPARISON OF THE ACADEMIC PERFORMANCES OF STUDENTS ADMITTED TROUGH UNIVERSITY MATRICULATION EXAMINATION AND DIRECT ENTRY MODES

COMPARISON
OF THE ACADEMIC PERFORMANCES OF
STUDENTS ADMITTED TROUGH UNIVERSITY MATRICULATION EXAMINATION AND DIRECT ENTRY MODES.
(A CASE
STUDY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF INTEGRATED SCIENCE, COLLEGE OF EDUCATION,
IKERE-EKITI. EKITI STATE
, NIGERIA.)
CHAPTER
ONE
INTRODUCTION
Background
of the study
The realization
that education is an instrument for national development has compelled the
federal government of Nigeria to make education accessible to every Nigerian
irrespective of the socio-economic background. For instance there is provision
for all levels of education starting from the primary to the tertiary level.
With the recognition of education as a veritable key to individual and national
development clamour for education especially tertiary education has increased
in the recent times.
The general
societal expectation on a university student is high. Under normal
circumstance; an average undergraduate student should face academic studies
with ease.  He should be able to pass his courses without embarking on any
form of examination malpractice because of his numerous experiences in public
examinations he has passed through before gaining admission.  In Nigeria,
university students are expected to be sound academically. They are expected to
have sat for the Senior Secondary School Certificate Examinations (SSCE) as an
achievement test and pass at the minimum requirement and have also presented
themselves for Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) Examination as a
selection test and pass at acceptable cut-off point before being offered admission
into the University (Salim, 2006).
Despite these
public examinations that Nigerian undergraduates do go through; academic
performance among university students are far below expectations most
especially in the last one and half decades. Many students hardly pass all
their first year courses, majority of those who successfully do so, have poor
grades. Greater percentage of university graduates in Nigeria today fall below
Second Class Upper division; the number of spillover students in various
departments are on a high increase. The situation is now worse as those who
even manage to graduate are not productive in the labor market because they
fail to meet the expectation of the employers (Ajaja, 2010).
The mode of
admission of candidates into first degree programmes in the universities is in
three major forms. These include admission through the direct entry, admission
through the universities matriculation examination (U.M.E) and admission
through the pre-degree programme. Admissions through the universities
matriculation examination (UME) and direct entry are being handed by the
joint admissions and matriculations Board while admission and through the
pre-degree programme is being handed by the universities themselves (Akper and
Fagbongbe (1999).
In Nigeria, it is
glaring that the university is regarded as the most important industry for the
production of high – level manpower and the capstan of the entire educational
system. University training, according to University matriculation examination
(1997) aimed at raising the intellectual tone of society, cultivating the
public mind, purifying the National taste, supplying the principles of popular
aspirations and giving enlargement and sobriety to ideas of the age. It is not
surprising them that stakeholders in University of the education tend to guard
jealously the integrity of the University and the quality of graduates
produced.
It is on record
that Nigerian Universities. These graduates have distinguished themselves in
their areas of specialization so much that some of them are now professors in
the best Universities across the globe. This attestation is futile resounding
more so that quality entrants transformed into quality graduates.
In recent years,
however, the accolade attached to Nigerian Universities seems to have faded
away. This is informed the flood of criticism that beckoned the admission
procedures and quality of graduates produced. In the keynote address
delivered at the first education submit of Oyo state held in Ibadan, Okebukola
(2006) decried the quality of graduates produced in Nigerian Universities
especially in the last four years and thumbed would graduate in the next three
years.
An important
issues when trying to understand why graduates from Nigerian Universities are
devalued in academic quality in looking at the various entry modes of the
entrants and distinguishing which of them provides the desired academic
standard. Currently, most Nigerian Universities admit Candidates into science
courses on the basis of their performance in either the Universities
Matriculation Examination (UME) conducted by the joint Admissions and
Matriculation Board (JAMB), Advanced level Examination or its equivalence in
relevant science subject for Direct entry (DE) into 200 level or the pre-degree
science (P D S), strictly controlled by the Universities running such a
programme.
For Nigeria to
realize her developmental goals in science and technology, quality entrants
into science courses in Nigerian Universities must be meticulously selected
using valid and credible entry mode so that those selected might have expected
academic competencies to pursue the chose courses. This study therefore compare
between academic performances of students admitted through University
matriculation Examination (UME) and student admitted through Direct Entry (DE)
with a view to identifying the best mode for selecting quality entrant into
mathematics in Nigerian Universities.
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Despite the
importance of Integrated Science, it is very important to note that the students
admitted through University matriculation Examination (UME) into the Integrated
Science department perform differently from students admitted through Direct
entry (DE).
The focus of this
study therefore is to compare and determine which mode of entry into the
Universities is the best for Integrated Science in University of Nigeria,
Nsukka, Ikere-Ekiti Campus.
PURPOSE OF THE STUDY.
Specifically, the study wants to critically examine the difference
between the academic performances of student admitted through Universities
matriculation examination (U M E) and direct entry (D E). The objectives of the
study are to:
1. Find out the performance of students admitted through universities
matriculation examination (U M E) in Integrated Science Department.
2. Find out performance of student admitted through direct entry (D E) in
Integrated Science Department.
3. Compare the performance of student admitted through Universities
matriculation examination (U M E) direct entry (D E).
4. Identify the causes of differences in performances.
Research Questions
The following three research questions were raised to assist the
study:        
1. Is there any significant difference in the performances of students
who were admitted through UME mode and direct entry mode in degree Integrated
Science Education?
2. Is there any better performance of students who were admitted through
direct entry mode to that student who were admitted through UME degree
counterparts?
3. Is there any significant difference between the performance of
students admitted through UME mode of entry and direct entry mode at their
final year level (400 levels)?
Research Hypothesis
Based on the above research questions, the following three hypotheses
were formulated and tested.
1. There is no significant difference in the performances of students who
were admitted through UME mode of entry and direct entry mode in degree
mathematics Education.
2. There are better performances of students who were admitted through
Direct entry mode to that student who were admitted through UME mode.
3. There is significant difference between the performance of student
admitted through UME mode of entry and direct entry mode at their final year
level i.e (400 levels).
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study is
important because it is hoped that it will increase the performance of students
admitted through Universities matriculation examination (U M E) and the
performance of the student admitted through direct entry (DE) to reproduce scientific
skill and knowledge base capability.
It is expected
that both universities matriculation examination (UME) and direct entry (DC)
students should develop creative capabilities in their academics to improve
their performance.
LIMITATION OF THE STUDY.
This study involves only the department of Integrated Science in
University of Nigeria, Nsukka. Ikere-Ekiti Campus and not be able to involve a
large sample than the one selected here because of the limited time for the
study and the need for adequate and in-depth study also makes it mandatory for
the researcher to be limited to a department.
DEFINITION OF TERMS.
Jamb– The joint
admissions and matriculation board (JAMB) is Nigeria’s official entrance
examination board. The examination being administered is available for most
student who choose to apply to Nigerian public and private monotechnics,
polytechnics and universities.
Direct Entry: This is an
application for admission which is made direct to the university after tertiary
institution service center (TISC) applications have closed.
Nigerian Certification in Education (N.C.E) is a special A- level grade course intended for secondary school and their
equivalent.

                                                   CHAPTER TWO

REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE
2.0     Introduction
This chapter
reviews the related literature for the study. The purpose of this chapter is to
review pertinent literature and what previous theorists and scholars have done
in relation to the study. What the findings are and what else is left to be
done, and brief appraisal of the literature with a view to sharpening the
researcher’s knowledge about the study.
2.1      
Conceptual Framework
The importance of
education to national and social economic growth and development is
immeasurable (Adeleke & Ogunwale, 2009). However there can never be any
functional education without high and credible standard which must be sustained
for any meaningful development in a society.
Since the
inception of university education in post-independence, the government of
Nigeria has been trying her best to ensure that academic standard is maintained
in the university system.  This led to the establishment of Joint Admission
and Matriculation Board (JAMB) which conducted its first university
matriculation examination in 1978. (Ubani 2010). The Joint Admission and
Matriculation Board (JAMB) was established in Nigeria in the year 1976 for some
obvious reasons part of which were: Irregularities in the West African
Examinations Council’s (WAEC) examination, Multiple admission by the
decentralized admission policy which denied others opportunity, Comparability
of standards problem across universities based on minimum standards
requirement.
The board was
established to streamline and co-ordinate admission practice in Nigeria
(Ezeudu, Agwaga and Agbaegbu 1997). The first examination of the board which
was conducted in May 1978 was without hitches.  Since the inception up
till the present times JAMB examinations have remained about the most turbulent
examinations in Nigeria (Nwana 1978).  Turbulent in the sense that it is
coming at a point in time when the young adolescence is trying to plunge into
life head long thereby entering into all kinds of deals to meet up with their
seemingly perched thinking of life.  The members of this turbulence are
continually being fired by societal influence.  Parent see fulfillment in
what their wards will be and not in what they are, thereby aiding and abating
this dangerous cankerworm called examination malpractice (Umo & Ezeudu,
2010).
The term academic
success is described as the scholastic standing of a student at a given moment.
It refers to how an individual is able to demonstrate his/her intellectual
abilities. This scholastic standing could be explained as the grades obtained
in a course or groups of courses; and the way in which a student has attained
the grades including the time he or she passed examination and after passing
examination.
Owoyemi, (2000)
argued that a prediction of a future examination result could be made with
reasonable success on the basis of the results of an earlier examination and
that grades may serves as prediction and cortisone measures.
As a measures of
prediction, Dockery,(2000) investigated the effects of intelligence quotient on
academic achievement and found that achievement scores increased as the
intelligence quotient increased.
One need to
observe the environmental concomitants during JAMB examination in some areas,
such as high rate of infiltration in school compound including swift vehicular
movement through which malpractice is aided and abated.  Some staff
quarters are converted to mini clearing houses for bridging examination gaps
(Umo, 2005).  Some examiners are bribed into allowing unauthorized
materials into the hall. Some of them are even used as organ of dissemination
of worked answers.  In this scenario, the school environment which is
supposed to be characterized with calmness is infested with noise, rowdiness,
disturbance and misdemeanor (Umo & Ezeudu 2010).
By the beginning
of 21st century JAMB criticism became a national issue as students
who score as high as 180 and above in JAMB examinations for University
admission were not, and are still not able to read and write properly (Gbore,
2007). In 2005 the former Nigerian president, Olusegun Obasanjo openly accused
JAMB of corrupt practices which had affected the standard of education in
Nigeria.  His statement attracted a lot of actions and reactions which in
effect rendered JAMB incapable of being a yardstick to rely upon as true
reflection of candidates’ performance. The then president of Nigeria went ahead
to recommended that further screening be conducted for students who had the
accepted cut- off point for university admission in JAMB, this brought about
 the inception of Post-JAMB screening in Nigeria (Ebiri, 2006).
It is quite
disheartening that JAMB faces serious criticism at the time that it has
introduced innovation to curtail examination malpractice. JAMB has tried so
much to avert this ugly situation through the help of security agents. JAMB has
also used different number systems and codes for different subject combinations
to discourage mass cheating, the result of the whole of Nsukka zone, comprising
about eight big towns in Enugu state were cancelled which resulted in
blacklisting the affected centres from taking the examination for upward of 5
years Umo & Ezeudu, (2010).  In the just concluded Unified Tertiary
Matriculation Examination, JAMB asked candidates not to come with any writing
material to the examination hall and promised to provide same, unlike normal
Nigerian settings, students who doubted JAMB by bringing their stationery were
disappointed. In spite of all these efforts, cheating still prevail in JAMB
examinations. The cartoon in one of the Nigerian daily newspapers, the Saturday
Vanguard, June 9, 2007 demonstrated a pathetic scenario JAMB find itself
in;   ‘examination malpractice is now a monster bullying JAMB like
a child and snatching away her question papers
. The newspaper puts up a
pertinent and rhetoric question, who is really in charge of the question
papers – Malpractice or JAMB?
’   Umo & Ezeudu (2010)

It has become obvious
that JAMB alone cannot single handedly solve this problem due to so many
intervening factors that come into play.  Nwafor & Onuoha (2006)
identified many factors that cause examination malpractice in Nigeria such as
psychological stress due to fear of failure, insufficient preparation for
examination, general high level of corruption in the society which includes the
home, the school and the community, teachers’ lack of discipline and low academic
ability among others.  This means that many more organizations and
institutions have to join hands in tackling this issue.  Umo (2006)
emphasized mapping the boundaries of stake holders involvement as government,
Parent-Teacher association, and indeed the entire society have to be involved
in fighting this menace

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