The permanent secretary of the Federal Ministry of Education, David Adejo, has lamented the rate at which parents made their underage children sit the National Common Entrance Examination.
He made the remarks while monitoring the 2023 examination alongside the registrar of the examination body, the National Examination Council (NECO), Ibrahim Wushishi.
“Parents should please let children get to the appropriate age before writing this examination, and we are going to make sure NECO puts appropriate checks in place,” he said.
He confirmed that some underage children were found to have sat the 2023 examination, an act which he said was not good for their development.
Mr Adejo said education was not about passing examinations and advised that children should get to the appropriate ages before writing the entrance examination.
“We need to get the children to present their birth certificates before registration so that, at our end, we can curb some of these excesses.
“To get to a secondary school, a child should minimally be 12 years old, and a child of less than 11 years is unacceptable,’’ he stressed.
Mr Adejo said oversubscription made two candidates pair for question papers at the 2023 exercise and assured that such development would no longer be tolerated.
“I was informed that there was enough provision for every child that registered, but more people registered as late as 11:23 p.m., whereas 12 midnight was the deadline for registration.
“By that time, all questions papers had been despatched.
“NECO made enough provision to have extras for every centre, but because there was oversubscription, arrangements made were inadequate.”
Mr Adejo noted that the campaign to increase girl child enrolment in school was yielding results as more than 38,000 girls sat the 2023 examination out of the total 72,881 candidates registered for the exercise.
In his remarks, Mr Wushishi noted the increase in the number of candidates registered by states in the northern parts of the country, which he said was better than the previous years.