The Federal Government has banned children under the age of 11 from participating in the National Common Entrance Examination (NCEE) for admission into federal unity colleges across the country.
The government directed the National Examinations Council (NECO) to put strict measures in place to prevent underage children from registering for the examination, including making birth certificate compulsory as a registration requirement.
David Adejo, permanent secretary, federal ministry of education, issued the directive on Saturday, June 3, in Abuja while monitoring the conduct of the 2023 NCEE into the 110 federal government colleges across the federation.
According to him, “We are k#lling our children by allowing underage children to participate in the Common Entrance Examination.
In the cause of monitoring the exercise, I saw children that are not up to 10 years siting for the examination. In fact, three of them accepted that they are nine years old.
We are teaching these children the wrong values. Education is not about passing examination. It’s about teaching, learning and character formation
Parents should let these children do the examination when they should. We don’t get value by pushing these children too far. Most of the times if a child starts too early, he or she will have little problems later in life.
Let our children get to appropriate age before writing this examination, and we are going to ensure NECO put in place appropriate checks to ensure that underage children are not registered for the examination.
We never wanted to get to where we demand for birth certificate but that is the stage we are going to now. In registering, also upload the child’s birth certificate, so that at our own end, we are able to cut some of these things.
To get to a secondary school, a child should minimally be 12 years old, and a child of less than 11 years is unacceptable.”