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FG to Review Entry Age for University Students

FG to Review Entry Age for University Students 

The federal government intends to examine and set the minimum enrollment age for higher education institutions of learning in the nation at eighteen years old, according to Minister of Education Prof. Tahir Mamman.

According to the government, it had noticed that parents were forcing their children into university settings before they are ready, both emotionally and physically.

The minister gave the hint when he monitored the ongoing Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) in Abuja yesterday.

He 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.

The minister said the 18-year benchmark is in line with 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, 16 years going in for the entrance examination.

“Parents should be encouraged not to push there 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 controlled to uncontrolled environment; when they are in charge of their own 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,” he said.

Mamman stated that in order to help individuals who will not be able to gain entry into universities, the ministry is providing primary school students skills.

According to Dr Fabian Benjamin, the JAMB spokesperson, the benchmark of 18 years for admission to higher institutions is in keeping with the 6-3-3-4 education system, which supports the minister’s perspective on the matter.

The National Parent Teacher Association of Nigeria (NAPTAN) has expressed disapproval of the proposal, claiming it will mislead and cause issues for parents.

Chief Adeola Ogunbanjo, the party’s national deputy president, told Daily Sun that the government need to maintain the 16-year-old admissions requirement that is in place at Obafemi Awolowo University in Ile Ife, the University of Lagos and other public universities across the nation.

The Lagos Zonal Coordinator of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Prof. Adelaja Odukoya, responded by saying that if there is a prayer that Nigerians of all religious persuasions need to offer fervently, it is that God should save this nation from the “dummy governing class” that manages its affairs.

He claimed that the idea of raising the entry age into university to 18 years is characteristic of the Nigerian governing elite harvesting and super-imposing foreign ideas without questioning the “why and how” before mindlessly copying them.

According to Mr. Emmanuel Oji, President of the Association for Educational Development (AFED), increasing the minimum age is a complicated issue that needs to be carefully considered in light of a number of variables, such as student readiness, the availability of alternative education pathways, and the potential effects on a student’s chances for further education and employment.

According to Oji, there are arguments in favour of raising the minimum age requirement for admission to universities because doing so may guarantee that applicants are more emotionally and intellectually mature and more equipped to handle the demands of a four-year degree.

“On the other hand, there are arguments for maintaining the lower age limit, as it allows students to pursue higher education at a younger age, potentially giving them more time to develop their skills and knowledge.

“If the minimum age for university admission is raised to 18, then 16-year-old students who are ready for higher education may need to pursue alternative pathways, such as vocational education or gap years, until they are eligible for university admission,” he stated.

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