Nigeria Flag


Nigeria Coat of arms

Education in Nigeria

Education in Nigeria is overseen by the Ministry of Education. Local authorities take responsibility for implementing policy for state-controlled public education and state schools at a regional level. The education system is divided into Kindergarten, primary education, secondary education and tertiary education.

The Federal Government of Nigeria regards education as an instrument for effecting national development. Her philosophy on education is based on the development of the individual into a sound and effective citizen. As a result, the provision of equal educational opportunities for all citizens of the nation is effected at the primary, secondary and tertiary levels both inside and outside the formal school system. The language of instruction in Nigerian institutions is English.

Education in Nigeria

Primary School

Primary education begins at the age of six for the majority of Nigerians. Students spend six years in primary school and graduate with a school-leaving certificate. Subjects taught at the primary level include mathematics, English language, bible knowledge, science and one of the three main native languages (Hausa, Yoruba and Ibo). Private schools would also offer computer science, French and art. Primary school students are required to take a Common Entrance Examination to qualify for admission into the Federal and State Government schools.

Secondary Education

Students spend six years in Secondary School. At the end of three years, they take the Junior Secondary School exam (JSS3 exam) which is a qualifying exam for Senior Secondary School. By Senior Secondary School Class 2 (SS2), students are taking the GCE O’Levels exam, which is not mandatory, but most students take it to prepare for the Senior Secondary School Exam. The Senior Secondary School Exam is taken in the last year of high school (SS3). Private organizations, the State government or the Federal government manages secondary schools in Nigeria.

The Nigerian University System

First year entry requirements into most universities in Nigeria include a minimum of SSCE/GCE Ordinary Level Credits at maximum of two sittings. Minimum cut-off marks in Joint Admission and Matriculation Board Entrance Examination (JAMB) of 200 and above out of a maximum of 400 marks are required.

Candidates with minimum of Merit Pass in National Certificate of Education (NCE), National Diploma (ND) and other Advanced Level Certificates minimum qualifications with minimum of 5 O/L Credits are given direct entry admission into the appropriate undergraduate degree programs. Duration of undergraduate programs in Nigerian Universities depends largely on the program of study. For example, a Bachelor degree in Social Sciences /Humanity related courses 4 Years (two semester sessions per year). While a Bachelor Degree in Engineering/Technology related courses 5 Years (two semester sessions per year).