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oporoza school

Nigerian Education


As I mentioned on the language
page, English is the official
language, and that is what
schools teach in. Of course other
languages are taught as well. The
tribal languages for instance,
and French, and possibly others.


In Nigeria, the school year
currently runs from January to
December, consists of about 3
quarters with a month between
quarters. It used to be that way
many many years ago, and then
they switched to a school year
that ran from September to July
(during the time I was in high
school, that's how it was), and
within the last decade, they've
switched back to a school year
that runs from January to


Some Nigerians go to nursery
school in their early years. What
is basically done there is
teaching kids the basics like the
alphabet, etc. etc.
For children who do not go to
nursery school, the first level of
schooling that is attended is
Primary School (Primary 1
through 6) equivalent to what is
called 'elementary school' in
some other countries. This runs
for 6 years, and after that,
students take the Common
Entrance Examination to be
admitted into Secondary
School, which is the equivalent
of 'high school' in some other
Up until around 1990, secondary
school was a 5 year program
(total...that is, the period
between primary school and any
higher education), made up of
(Form 1 through 5, )and at the
end, you had to take the WAEC
(West African Examination
Council) exam to graduate from
secondary school, and the JAMB
(Joint Admissions Matriculation
Board) exam to be admitted into
However, around 1990 what was
once known as 'secondary
school' was split into 2 sections,
and had a year added. So now,
there isJunior Secondary
School (JSS), which lasts 3
years, and then students have
to take the JuniorWAEC or the
JSSE (Junior Secondary School
Exam) to move up toSenior
Secondary School (SSS),
which also lasts 3 years, after
which you take the exams to
leave and go to college. (I believe
you still take the same exams to
leave though, I'm verifying this.)
Also, for Secondary Schools,
boarding schools are a quite
common alternative to day
schools (non-boarding schools).
After Secondary School,
students can enter Universities,
Polytechnics, Teacher Colleges,
Trade Schools, etc. etc.
Of course, a number of students
also go further after University/
College on to graduate school.
Article from October 1998 about
the number of students entering
University in Nigeria
Nigeria, which currently has 37
universities and five other
degree awarding institutions, can
only manage to enrol some 20
percent of its qualified
applicants, the Registrar of the
Joint Admissions and
Matriculation Board, Bello Ahmad
Salim, has said.
He attributed the low access to
higher education in Nigeria, to
resource constraints and the
growing number of students
seeking access to university
During the 1996/97 school year,
only 79,904 were offered places
in universities by the board from
475,923 students who applied for
places, Salim told PANA in Paris
where he is attending the World
Conference on Higher Education.
The number of applicants, he
added, has continued to grow
astronomically without a
concomitant growth in the
number of available places in the
Because college lasts for about 4
years, you'll sometimes hear this
education system calledthe
6-3-3-4 system.
Before a person can start
working in Nigeria (of course, if
they start their own company,
this does not apply) they need to
have one year ofNational
Youth Service Corp. (NYSC),
and most Nigerians go through
this right after school. Since I
went to college in the United
States, I did not go through that,
and so I am trying to get more
information on this to add to this
section later.
In the meantime, a visitor
(thanksUimegi) was able to
provide me with the following
contact information:
P.M.B 138, ABUJA.
TEL: 09-234-1465, 234-1438


During primary school and
secondary school (both parts),
students wear aschool
uniform that is chosen and
designed by their school. During
school parties or special
functions, students are
sometimes allowed to wear what
they choose. Also, there are
usually other physical standards
that students must abide too.
For instance, most schools
either have the girls hair cut
short, or allow them to braid it
neatly, sometimes depending on
the grade level. Boys must have
their hair short. With both boys
and girls who have short hair,
the hair must be neatly combed.
Also, shoes, jewelry, and other
accessories usually have
guidelines attached. As far as I
know, boys are not allowed to
wear jewelry. Neatness is really
important, and your school
uniform must be clean and
ironed, which was sometimes
difficult if you had no electric
power between the time you
washed it, and the time you wore
it (unless you were lucky enough
to have a generator for power
outages). So, people usually had
anywhere from 2-5 identical
school uniforms. Also, because
the weather is so hot, you sweat
a lot, and wearing something
more than a day in a row
(between washings) was unheard
of. (Here is a picture of me and a
friend in our high school
uniforms, also available in the
picture section.)
For those going to boarding
schools, in addition to the school
uniforms that are required by
the schools, the boarding
schools usually also have a
house uniform that the
students wear after school
hours. Usually, the design on
these is the same, but the
colors between different houses
of the boarding school have
different colors so it is easy to
recognize which house the
students belong to. (Here is a
picture of my sister and some
of her friends in their boarding
school house uniforms, as you
can see, the colors are different
because they are not from the
same house. This picture is also
available in thepicture section.)
There are no restrictions on
attire and appearance in higher


For primary and secondary
schools, some schools do have
buses to transport their
students from certain areas to
the school, and of course, in
boarding schools, transportation
is not an issue. For day school
students though, for the most
part though, transportation to
and from school is left to the
family. Some parents drop their
kids off at school on their way to
work (even if it is in the opposite
direction, some parents are
wonderful, aren't they? Mine
included!!!), some kids walk if it is
close enough, some take the
bus, some get rides with others
parents, etc. etc.(unlike the
United States, 16 does not
become a driving age for most
For higher education, students
can live on campus in the
dormitories, or provide their own
transportation to school.

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