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By Osaro Matthew

The Federal Government of Nigeria has set 18 years as a benchmark to gain admission into tertiary institutions across the country. On Monday, April 22, 2024, the President Tinubu-led government gave a directive that no student under the age of 18 should be given admission into tertiary institutions across the country. The directive came from the Minister of Education, Tahir Mamman, during a monitoring exercise of the ongoing 2024 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) in the Federal Capital Territory.

According to the Minister, parents are now fond of pushing their children to university or tertiary institutions at an early age for their own personal benefits, which does not help the children. He 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.”


It has become a trend in society that students enroll for the West African Examination Council from SSS 1 and 2 instead of SSS 3, skipping the normal 6-3-3-4 education system of the country. This directive aims to ensure that parents allow their wards to go through the educational system as required. The Minister also advocated for skill acquisition, stating that any student unable to proceed to tertiary institutions should be able to have a meaningful life after primary and secondary school education, and that skill acquisition is the only solution to this.

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