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Common Entrance Exams: NGO supports FG’s ban on children below 11 years

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The Federal Government has banned underage children from participating in the National Common Entrance Examination for admission into the Unity Schools across the country.

It also directed the National Examination Council (NECO) to put strict measures in place to prevent the underage persons from registering for the examination, including making birth certificate compulsory as registration requirement.

Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, Mr. David Andrew Adejo, gave the directive recently in Abuja while monitoring the conduct of the 2023 Common Entrance Examination into the 110 Federal Government Colleges across the Federation.

In line with the FG’s decision, a non-profit and non-governmental organisation in Nigeria with the aim to safeguard the well-being and future of African children by employing research, advocacy, and psychosocial interventions, A Mother’s Love Initiative (AMLi), since inception had been carrying out an advocacy against admitting under-aged children into schools and by extension against the hurried child syndrome.

Research has shown that adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are traumatic experiences in childhood and are linked to chronic health problems, mental illness, and substance use problems in adolescence and adulthood. Such traumatic experiences negatively impact education, job opportunities, etc.

The early years of a child’s life are very important for their health and development. Hurrying children during this stage can have adverse effects.

Founder/President, AMLi, Barrister Hanatu A. Enwemadu, in a media chat with newsmen said: “We are thrilled to share an important development in the education sector! The Federal Government of Nigeria has taken a significant step towards ensuring the well-being and educational growth of our young learners”.

Barrister Enwemadu said in line with our commitment to nurturing the potential of every child, A Mother’s Love Initiative is delighted to supporting the recent decision by the Federal Government of Nigeria to ban underage children from taking the Unity Schools common entrance examination. “We firmly believe that education should be provided to an age-appropriate and conducive environment, thereby promoting optimal learning and personal development.

“With this progressive move, we strive to ensure that our young ones embark on their educational journey at the right time, fostering a strong foundation for their future success”.

Speaking further, she said that AMLi’s recent partnership with Universal basic Education Board (LASUBEB), Lagos State Ministry of Educational and a host of other relevant government agencies on The  Hurried Child Syndrome will drive this project deeper, and as well serve as a wake-up call to stakeholders, society, parents, government, schools to kick against the menace of hurried child syndrome in Nigeria and other parts of Africa.

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