Senate supports minimum entry age into tertiary institutions



By JOHN ONAH, Abuja –

Members of Nigeria Senate on Tuesday put its weight behind the Federal Government move to pegg the minimum entry age into tertiary institutions in the country to 18 years.

The support was made known on Tuesday in Abuja when the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Tertiary institution and TETFund, Sen Muntari Dandutse led other members of the committee as well as his House of Representatives’ counterpart will monitor the ongoing UTME as the oversight function.

Speaking with journalists after the exercise , the Senator representing Kogi West Senatorial District and member of committee, Sen Sunday Karimi, said the Senate has nothing against the proposal by the Minister of Education.

According to him, by restricting admission to students at least 12 years old before secondary, the government aims to ensure that students possess the cognitive and emotional readiness necessary to navigate the challenges of secondary education effectively.

“By the time a student who entered into secondary school at the age of 12 years complete his secondary school programme, he is already at the age of 18 as stipulated.

According to him, “the law was already on the ground backing that, however, if there is need for any amendment to make it more stronger, we are ready to do that”

He commended JAMB for providing enabling atmosphere for candidates to have a seamless exercise.

It would be recalled that the Minister of Education, Prof. Tahir Mamman, on Monday disclosed that the  Federal Government would consider the possibility of reviewing and pegging the minimum entry age into tertiary institutions in the country to 18 years.



The Minister who gave the hint while monitoring the ongoing Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) in Abuja, advised parents against pushing their children and wards “too much,” to allow them to attain some level of maturity to be able to better manage their affairs.

According to him, “The other thing which we notice is the age of those who have applied to go to the university. Some of them are really too young. We are going to look at it because they are too young to understand what a university education is all about.

“That’s the stage when students migrate from a controlled environment where they are in charge of their own affairs. So if they are too young, they won’t be able to manage properly. That accounts for some of the problems we are seeing in the universities.

“We are going to look at that. 18 is the entry age for university but you will see students, 15, and 16, going to the examination. It is not good for us. Parents should be encouraged not to push their wards, or children too much.”


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