Senate committee backs 18-year minimum entry age into tertiary institutions

Sharon EboesomiApril 24, 20244 min

The Senate, according to Dandutse, would back any initiative taken by the government to expedite the admissions process, particularly with regard to the minimum age requirement for entrance into tertiary institutions.

Senate committee backs 18-year minimum entry age into tertiary institutions

The federal government’s proposal to review the entry age into tertiary institutions has been supported by the Senate Committee on Tertiary Institutions and TETFund.

This was revealed by the committee’s chairman, Muntari Dandutse (APC, Katsina South), Tuesday in Abuja during the monitoring of the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) examinations.

As part of their oversight responsibilities, representatives of the House of Representatives Committee on Education joined the members of the Senate committee as they observed the examination.

Speaking to reporters following the monitoring, Dandutse stated that the Red Chamber had no objections to the entry age that the education minister had announced on Monday. 

Earlier, while addressing the UTME candidates waiting to take the examination at Government Secondary School Tudun Wada, Abuja, Dandutse cautioned the candidates against involving in examination malpractice that could mar their future.

He told them how fortunate they were that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu had established the Student Loan Scheme, which would help them gain admission to the universities of their choosing.

READ ALSO: Every Nigerian child deserves access to university education – Kalu

According to Senator Sunday Karimi (APC, Kogi West), a committee member, by limiting admission of students to 12 years old before secondary school, the government would guarantee that they have the mental and emotional preparedness required for dealing with the challenges of secondary education.

He said: “By the time a student who enters secondary school at the age of 12 years completes his secondary school programme, he is already at the age of 18, as stipulated.

“The law was already on the ground backing that. However, if there is a need for any amendment to make it stronger, we are ready to do that.”

The lawmaker hailed JAMB for providing an enabling atmosphere for candidates to write a seamless examination.

OrderPaper recalls that on Monday, Professor Tahir Mamman, the Minister of Education, stated that the government is evaluating raising the minimum age requirement for admission to postsecondary institutions to years.

The Minister who advised while monitoring the ongoing Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) in Abuja, advised parents not to push their wards or children “too much” to give them time to reach a certain degree of maturity and become more capable of handling their own issues.

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,” he added.

Sharon Eboesomi

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