1 minute read

Nigeria

Educational System—overview


Nigerian law requires compulsory education for all students between the ages of 6 and 15. Students in primary and secondary school attend three equally divided sessions from January through December, with about a month vacation between sessions.

In 1982, Nigeria switched to the American system of six primary, three junior secondary, and three senior secondary school grades, but the rigid examination system remained. To qualify for entry into Junior Secondary School (JSS), Senior Secondary School (SSS), and higher education, nationwide examinations are held each year. Because exam scores determine a student's future educational choices, schools tend to stress memorization of facts, rather than creative problem solving. There are not enough senior secondary schools in Nigeria, so most students who finish JSS go into the workforce.

Certain federal and state agencies plan and carry out special education programs. Teachers receive training to teach in these programs. Mostly, though, the government encourages integration of special education students into the regular schools. The Ministry of Social Development, Youth, and Sports also runs centers throughout the nation to help train people with special needs.

There are three major categories of higher or tertiary education. One is postsecondary, which is non-university level training in technical and vocational fields. Students receive certificates of training for completing work-oriented courses. The second type of higher education institution consists of higher technical, but non-university level programs offered at technical colleges, polytechnics, and colleges of education. They usually offer a variety of options for students that lead to a National Diploma (ND) for two years of study or a Higher National Diploma (HND) for four years of study. The third type of tertiary institution is the degree-granting institution offering bachelor's and higher degrees.

About two-thirds of the universities are federally owned, and a majority of the others are state-owned. There are 13 federally owned and 14 state-owned polytechnic colleges. Unlike primary and secondary schools, the institutions of higher education normally follow a 15-week semester system, running from October to mid-July.


Additional topics

Education Encyclopedia - StateUniversity.comGlobal Education ReferenceNigeria - History Background, Constitutional Legal Foundation, Educational System—overview, Preprimary Primary Education, Secondary Education