Nigerian government stops admission of pupils below age 12 into unity schools

The Nigerian government has declared that, henceforth, enrolling younger pupils below age 12 in secondary schools will not be accepted, describing the practice as a breach of the nation’s education policy.

Penpushing reports that the Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Education, Andrew Adejoh, made this known on Saturday during the monitoring of the National Common Entrance Examination (NCEE) into the country’s federal government colleges, otherwise known as unity schools.

The Permanent Secretary condemned the practice and expressed the government’s determination to enforce the policy, insisting that the practice contributes significantly to the challenges facing the country’s education system, and equally accused parents of continually breaching the policy.

“It’s in our National Policy on Education but observed more in the breach. (sic). We are killing our children by allowing underage children to write the Common Entrance Examination’, he emphasised

“I saw children that I know that are not up to 10, and three of them accepted that they are nine years old. We are doing many things; one, we are teaching the children the wrong values. Education is not about passing exams. Education is teaching, learning and character formation”, he added

Penpushing further reports that Adejoh, therefore, directed the National Examinations Council (NECO), the government agency responsible for the conduct of National Common Entrance Examination (NCEE), to henceforth make birth certificates a requirement for registration.

“Let our children get to an appropriate age before writing (sitting) this exam and we are going to make sure NECO puts in place appropriate checks. We didn’t want to get to where we will say bring a birth certificate but that is the stage we are going to now. In registering, we also upload the child’s birth certificate, so that at our own end, we are able to cut some of these things,” he said.

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