In Nigeria of today, you don’t have to be a prodigy to ace UTME at 15. Prof. Bakare
In my experience, nearly every child is capable of passing the UTME at 15 & 16. I have the statistics of the school I manage to back me. It is a matter of how good the teachers are from JSS1 to SSS3. The syllabus is obviously very appropriate for that age, bases on my observation of actual data of the school over 4 sets of students sitting the UTME and WAEC.
Among those presented by the school for the just concluded UTME are 7 students that were identified as “struggling students”.
They were far behind their peers academically at the point of their admission five to six years ago. They remain significantly behind their peers up till now that they are in SSS3.
In the just concluded UTME, the average score of these 7 Struggling sStudents is 229.3. Kindly find the individual scores of these 7 kids below this post. Only the first two of the 7 struggling students beat any other student of the school in the just concluded UTME. Every one of the 7 is either 15 or 16 years old.
The summary of my submission is that we should not assume a child is a prodigy just because he or she passes UTME very well.
I sincerely believe university education is for adults that are 18 years, or older. In my view, a typical 16 years old should not be admitted into universities, at all.
In my family, my children don’t commence university education until they are 18, even though they too complete SSS3 at 15 and 16, like every other children I know in the last decade.
All my children have passed the UTME well at 15 or 16, as they finish their SSS3. In fact, my third child, who turned 16 earlier this month, scored 279 in the 2019 UTME. She is not going to any university for the next two years. Our plan is for her to commence her university education at 18, which means in September, 2021 by God’s grace.
My kindest regards.
Summary of 2019 UTME Scores of Al-Hijrah College Struggling Students, with Admission Classes
- F: 270 JSS2
- M: 256 JSS2
- K: 231 JSS1
- A: 223 JSS1
- H: 221 JSS1
- A: 208 JSS2
- T: 195 JSS1
Average for all 7 struggling students: 229.3
- By “Typical 16 year old”, I include all kids who, six years earlier (at age 10), were able to score 45% or better in the regular secondary school entrance examinations.
In Al-Hijrah College, those who score 40% or better in Mathematics, are usually automatically admitted, and those who score below 40% are given something we call “Trainability Test”. This simply means the kid is given 40 multiple choice Mathematical Entrance Examination questions to study at home for two weeks. At the end of the two weeks, 20 questions are randomly selected for the candidate to answer, from the original list of 40. When the candidate scores 75% or better in this Trainability Test, he or she is admitted, otherwise, the candidate is denied admission. Students that are admitted via Trainability Tests are the “Struggling Students” referred to in my earlier post.
Among all the candidates within the first four sets of the school of the worst UTME score has been 192, and it was by a struggling student, admitted after a Trainability Test.
Unless a child scores 360 (90%) or better in the UTME, I am not sure I will label the child a prodigy. The examination is indeed ideally appropriate for our typical 15 & 16 years old SSS3 students attending schools with qualified and committed teachers.
2 & 3: Your second and third questions here are about admission policies of universities. I believe every university should be free to enforce its admission policy, and grant exemptions, when situation demands, for instance, if a 10 year old scores 395 in UTME.
- My kids are very happy with the way they spend the two, or three years transition period from SSS3 to Year One of universities. I wouldn’t want to go into details to avoid detracting readers from the real debate at hand.
My point is, it should take a lot more than scoring about 85% in UTME for any 15 year old to be classified as a prodigy.
My kindest regards.