UTME: FG To Adopt 18 Years As University Entry Age 

The Minister of Education, Prof. Tahir Mamman, has decried the rate of underage entry into universities, saying there is a plan to review and peg the minimum entry age into tertiary institutions in the country to 18 years.

Prof. Mamman stated this on Monday while monitoring the ongoing Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) in Abuja.

He said: “We noticed that the age of those who have applied to go to the university, some of them are 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 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.”

The minister urged parents to allow their children to attain some level of maturity before entering the university so they can better manage their affairs.

While commending the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) for a seamless examination process, the minister said the adoption of technology has helped in reducing the cases of examination practices.

“Right from screening to those who are here, the examination process is seamless. The environment is comfortable for students. That’s how it should be, especially the use of technology in our affairs and the educational system. It makes life easy for everybody and seamless.

“The malpractice level is very low, just 100 out of the 1.2m. It has gone down drastically and I believe that it is the use of technology that has made that happen so this is very good,” he said.

Earlier, the Minister of State for Education, Dr. Tanko Sununu, who also visited another centre said he was excited the UTME was also ongoing in Saudi Arabia as a result of the standards set by JAMB management, saying, the examination had transcended to a very high level of objectivity and reliability of results.

Sununu commended the process saying, “One of the major things I see here, which is a major characteristic of online exams, is the speed. The speed in the centre is excellent; pages are turned when candidates need them without any delay of booting.”

He added, “The standard of the exam is commendable. I am not surprised that JAMB has to go outside Nigeria to go to other countries to conduct exams. They are in Saudi Arabia and right now the exam is also going on in Saudi Arabia. I have not heard people complaining of answers leaked, it shows that with online exams we can do a lot.”

Daily Trust

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