UTME: Senate committee wants under-16 candidates disqualified


The Senate Committee on Basic Education says only candidates from 16 years old and above should be allowed to take Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination.

The committee vowed to pursue the amendment of the law establishing the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, to enable it limit the age of candidates writing UTME to 16 years and above.

The Vice Chairman of the committee, Senator Akon Eyakenyi, made this known during the committee’s oversight visit to JAMB on Monday.

Eyakenyi said, “Our own work is that of making laws, to legislate; we have identified two major areas that we need to go into the process of amending the act establishing JAMB. That’s the area of support we will give.

“Other than that, we also intend to pass on what we have seen today to the appropriate MDAs, the Federal Ministry of Education to ensure the support needed by JAMB needs is given to them.

“Candidates should not be admitted into the university below the age of 18 years. Age has a lot to do with learning abilities.

On his part, Prof. Is-haq Oloyede, Registrar, Joint Admissions and Matriculations Board said malpractice and indiscipline are some of the board’s major challenges yet to be fully addressed.

Oloyede said that the challenges, unfortunately, were mostly with regards to parents trying to bend the system by all means and get their wards or children into schools, irrespective of their performance.

“Our challenge remain examination malpractice, especially with regards to parents who keep calling me to favour their wards or children wether they meet the requirements of the system or not.

“There’s also indiscipline from the tertiary institutions who admit against the Federal Government’s policy guidelines as mandated by the Ministry of Education.

“At the end of the day, after admitting outside these policies, they put pressure on students at the final moments towards graduation to come back to us for what they call regularisation.

”We also have same challenge from some private sectors and dubious Computer Based Test (centres too and we are really putting efforts to curb this.”

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