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Senate may amend law to enforce entry age into varsities

The Senate Committee on Tertiary Institutions and TETFund said the upper chamber of the National Assembly may soon amend the existing law on the minimum…

The Senate Committee on Tertiary Institutions and TETFund said the upper chamber of the National Assembly may soon amend the existing law on the minimum entry age into universities and other tertiary institutions in the country.

The committee, led by its chairman, Senator Muntari Dandutse, made this known after monitoring the ongoing Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) alongside its House of Representatives’ counterpart in Abuja on Tuesday.

While backing the decision of the Minister of Education, Professor Tahir Mamman, to set the minimum entry age for admission into tertiary education institutions at 18, Senator Dandutse said the move would ensure that minors do not find their way to university.

He however described the conduct of the ongoing UTME by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) as impressive and commended President Bola Tinubu for rolling out the student loan scheme, saying the programme would boost access to higher education in the country.

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Also speaking, a member of the committee, Senator Sunday Karimi, said the need to boost access to education does not rule out pegging the minimum admission age at 18.

“Everybody should have access to education. Just because you are 40 or 50 doesn’t mean you cannot enter university; it is not a barrier, but there is also a minimum. You cannot be 12, you cannot be 13, you cannot be 14 and enter university,” he said.

He said: “What the minister said yesterday is that you have to be 18, and we are not against that because before you can enter primary school, you have to be 6, and before you enter secondary school, you have to be 12, so before you enter university, you have to be 18.”

On a law to make 18 years the mandatory age for entry into higher education institutions in the country, the Senator said, “The law is already there, but if it means to even take it and amend it to make sure we have a robust law, we are going to do that.”

 

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