JAMB: FG sets 18 years as minimum entry age into tertiary institutions

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Prof. Tahir Mamman, Minister of Education, stated on Monday that the federal government might review the age restriction for entrance to the country’s tertiary institutions.

The minister, who set 18 as the minimum age for entrance to institutions, recommended parents not to pressure their underage children to pursue higher education, particularly university education, before the age of 18.

Prof. Mamman talked with journalists after supervising the current Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination, or UTME, in several Abuja centres.

The minister expressed dissatisfaction with the age of certain individuals who applied to write the examination, pointing out that they were still significantly younger than the necessary age for university entrance.

He, however, applauded the conduct of the examination, describing it as peaceful just as he said irregularities where were visibly noticeable in the past, had drastically reduced.

He said: “The examination process is seamless. The environment is comfortable for students. That’s how it should be, especially with the use of technology in our affairs and the educational system. It makes life easy for everybody and seamless.

“As we know, this examination is going on throughout the country. It is being monitored everywhere seamlessly and from the report I have heard, the malpractice level is very low, just a 100 out of 1.2m. It has gone believe that. It is the use of technology that has made that happen, so this is very good.

“The other thing which we noticed 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 the 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.

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

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