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FG: Minimum age for varsity admission still 18… parents pushing their wards too much

FG: Minimum age for varsity admission still 18… parents pushing their wards too much
April 22
20:17 2024

Tahir Mamman, the minister of education, says the minimum age for admission into Nigerian higher institutions of learning is 18 years.

The Mamman spoke on Monday during a monitoring exercise of the ongoing 2024 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) in Bwari, Abuja.

The minister expressed concerns that parents are pressuring their wards at ages 15 and 16 to gain admission into tertiary institutions.

He pointed out that admission to tertiary institutions in Nigeria should not be given to candidates below 18, noting that Nigeria operates the 6-3-3-4 system of education.


“The minimum age of entry into the university is 18, but we have seen students who are 15 and 16 years old going in for the entrance examination,” the minister said.

“Parents should be encouraged not to push their wards too much. Mostly, it is the pressure of parents that is causing this.

“We are going to look at this development because the candidates are too young to understand what the whole university education is all about.


“This is the period when children migrate from a controlled to an uncontrolled environment; when they are in charge of their affairs.

“But, if they are too young, they won’t be able to manage properly. I think that is part of what we are seeing in the universities today.”

Mamman said the ministry of education is taking skills to pupils from primary school.

This, he noted, is in the interest of skill acquisition for those who will not be able to gain admission into tertiary institutions.


“Overall, it is 20 percent that can be admitted into the university, polytechnic and colleges of education. So, where will the 80 percent go to? That is why the issue of skills acquisition is very important,” the minister added.

“Any student who is unable to proceed to tertiary institutions should be able to have a meaningful life after primary and secondary school education and the only solution to this is skill acquisition.

“By taking skills right from the time they entered school, for the primary right through the educational trajectory, somebody should finish with one skill or another. That is part of the assumption of the 6-3-3-4.”


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