18 Year Limit for Varsity Admission: Education Minister on His Own- Senate

The Senate has said that the Minister of Education, Tahir Mamman who said that young Nigerians  bellow 18 years may no longer be admitted into tertiary institutions in the country was not speaking for the country.

Mamman a fortnight ago while monitoring the 2024 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) in Bwari, Federal Capital Territory (FCT) had said that young Nigerians bellow 18 years of age were not mature enough for university education.

The minister had said:

“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 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 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.”

However, answering questions from journalists on the matter on Wednesday, the Spokesman of the Senate, Senator Adeyemi Adaramodu clarified on the matter stating that the position of the minister does not in any way amount to a law on the matter.

He said that the minister was on his own and reiterated that for such a matter to become law, it had to go through the parliament where Nigerians will have to make inputs/

Adaramodu said that the “comment on the minimum age requirement for admission is not a law.”

“So, it is just an opinion. It’s not a law. By the time the Senate resumes, whoever wants to bring that one out to make it a law, will now bring it and then the procedures will take place.

“You can bring whatever to the floor in form of a bill. When you bring it, there’s going to be public hearing.

“All the stakeholders will sit down and talk about it. The parents, teachers, legislators, civil society organisations, even foreign organisations.

“We will sit down and talk. Even if they say that the minimum age should be 30 or 12, we will all discuss it in an open forum. So it’s still a comment which cannot be taken to be the law.”

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