The highest scorer in the 2019 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination, UTME, 15-year-old Ekene Franklin Ezenala, has appealed to Lagos State government, organizations and individuals to help him address his age disadvantage and get admission into the University of Lagos, which admits candidates from age 16..
The 15-year-old Ekene, even after learning that UNILAG will not offer him admission due to his age, is still hoping that something can be done to stop him losing out in forthcoming admission exercise.
“I know it is their law and, if it is the will of God, something can done to change the situation. I know I cannot change the law on UNILAG admission criteria. But I hope someone can come to my aid on this age issue,” says Ekene.
“Initially, I wasn’t aware of the UNILAG law which states a student must be 16 years old. Based on that I picked UNILAG as first choice. It is the university law, no one is above it.
“If I don’t get support from government or JAMB on the age issue, I may wait for next year to write another UTME but if I get scholarship I will accept it. I prefer scholarship that will enable me travel abroad.”
JAMB Registrar Prof Ishaq Oloyede, while announcing the release of results for the 2019 UTME, revealed that Ekene will not be considered for admission by UNILAG because of his age, 15-years-old.
Speaking to Daily Sun, Ekene said his focus is to get a scholarship and go abroad to study Chemical Engineering at MIT.
The 15-year-old student from Imo State, who is currently writing the May/June 2019 West African Senior School Certificate Examination, WASSCE, says if he does not get admission or a scholarship, he will prepare for another UTME next year.
”But I don’t want to waste my high score,” he said.
According to him, he was expecting to be among the ten highest scorers in the UTME and that he prepared for the matriculation examination like other candidates.
His mother, Mrs. Ezenala, who described Ekene as an exceptional child revealed that he did not attend any JAMB coaching class or school lessons.
Mrs. Ezenala also revealed that Ezenala represented the school and Lagos State in several competitions and won many laurels for the state and school.
She hoped the government, organizations or an individuals will award Ekene a scholarship to enable him achieve his dream.
“I don’t want his high score in UTME to be wasted because of age issue. If we knew UNILAG will not admit him because of his age, we won’t have encouraged him to apply to the university. I seek the intervention of government and people to solve this age issue,” said Ekene’s mother.
At Ekene’s school, Meiran Community High School, Meiran, Lagos, some of his teachers and classmates acknowledged the 15-year-old’s academic prowess and described him as genius.
They also appealed for help from government and organizations to ensure Ekene does not lose his admission due to the age restriction.
A female teacher predicted that Ekene will break the school record in the May/June WASSCE and make Lagos State proud in the school exam.
An SS III student told Daily Sun that the school is not surprised by Ekene’s performance in the 2019 UTME and that some of them had also predicted that he will do well in the May/June 2019 WASSCE.
In the just released UTME results, Ekene emerged the highest scorer with 347, with the following subject scores: English, 78, Mathematics, 91, Physics, 86 and Chemistry, 92.