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FG Sets Minimum Age of 18 for Admission into Tertiary Institutions


The Federal Government through its Ministry of Education has implemented a directive mandating that candidates below the age of 18 cannot gain admission to tertiary institutions in Nigeria. This decision, announced by the Minister of Education, Tahir Mamman, during a monitoring exercise of the 2024 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) in Bwari, Federal Capital Territory, aims to address concerns over underage students being pressured by parents into pursuing tertiary education prematurely.

18 year old

Mamman emphasized that the 18-year benchmark aligns with the 6-3-3-4 education system, aiming to ensure that students enter university when adequately prepared to handle its demands. Additionally, the importance of skills acquisition for students unable to secure admission was underscored, emphasizing the need for meaningful pursuits after primary and secondary education.

Echoing Mamman's sentiments, JAMB spokesperson, Fabian Benjamin, stated that the 18-year age requirement aligns with the education system's structure. Minister of State for Education, Yusuf Sununu, commended the 2024 UTME's online format for reducing exam malpractice and maintaining high standards.

However, the directive has sparked diverse reactions among Nigerians. Some advocate for stricter penalties for lecturers who harass students, while others question the necessity of age as an admission determinant, citing personal experiences. Concerns have been raised about the rationale behind the policy and its potential impact on students graduating from secondary school at a younger age.

Critics deride the policy as regressive, while supporters call for even stricter age limits. Overall, the announcement has ignited a robust debate on social media, reflecting the varied perspectives and concerns of Nigerians regarding the government's educational directives.


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