Social Media, Hunger, and Laziness Blamed for Poor UTME Performance in Nigeria!

Social Media, Hunger, and Laziness Blamed for Poor UTME Performance in Nigeria!

By  Amforgod J. Olisa

The recently concluded Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) in Nigeria has once again stirred a national conversation, but this time it’s not just about the scores. Rather, it’s about the underlying factors contributing to the poor performance of a significant number of students.

In response to a post by Tribune Online across various social media platforms, Nigerians have come forward to identify potential reasons for the disappointing outcomes of the exam. According to Tribune Online’s report, out of 1,989,668 candidates who registered for the UTME, a staggering 1,402,470 scored below 200.

Among the myriad of reasons put forth by Nigerians, three themes emerge prominently: social media addiction, hunger, and laziness.

Excessive Social Media Use

A prevailing sentiment among respondents is the detrimental impact of excessive social media use on students’ academic performance. Many pointed out that today’s youth are more engrossed in platforms like TikTok, Instagram, and Twitter, diverting their attention away from studies. The allure of social media seems to have eclipsed the importance of education for a significant portion of the younger generation.

Food Insecurity and Economic Hardship

Another factor highlighted by Nigerians is the prevalence of hunger and economic hardship, exacerbated by issues such as food costs and fuel scarcity. In a country grappling with economic challenges, students may struggle to focus on their studies when their basic needs are not adequately met. The concern raised is valid: how can students excel academically when their minds are preoccupied with survival?

Lack of Motivation and Laziness

Furthermore, there’s a growing perception of a lack of motivation and laziness among students. Some argue that there’s a pervasive attitude of indifference towards education, with many youths prioritizing quick money-making schemes like internet fraud (commonly known as Yahoo) over academic pursuits. This sentiment is reinforced by the belief among some that “school na scam,” suggesting a disillusionment with the educational system.

Calls for Reorientation and Change

Amidst these observations, there’s a clear call for reorientation and systemic change. It’s evident that addressing these underlying issues requires a multi-faceted approach involving educational institutions, government interventions, parental guidance, and societal values.


The discourse surrounding the poor performance of students in the UTME serves as a poignant reminder of the complex interplay between societal factors and academic outcomes. While the numbers may reflect a sobering reality, they also present an opportunity for introspection and proactive measures to empower the next generation of learners. As Nigeria strives for educational excellence, it’s imperative to address the root causes undermining the academic success of its youth.

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