Secondary. Education System in Nigeria, Part 5

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Secondary education is an integral part of formal education. This level determines what profession one might want to pursue in life. At this stage, “Student A” will make the decision on whether to pursue a career in law or medicine. How? By deciding whether to attend a science, commercial, or arts class. Therefore, it is crucial for a student at this point to have the correct information. Information such as WAEC/JAMB subject combination for certain programmes at a university. This is not to imply that life wouldn’t have its own unique arrangements, such as physicians becoming fashion designers and attorneys becoming performers. In this part, we’ll examine senior secondary education in Nigeria’s formal educational system.

Senior Secondary School

This three-year formal schooling cycle is broken down into SS1, SS2, and SS3. Except for a few Unity schools, which are managed by the federal government, it is overseen by both the state government and private individuals. It is tuition-free for public senior secondary schools, with the exception of the nominal fee for the final exam, which some state governments sometimes also support. The tuition for private schools is determined by the same variables as for other levels of formal education, such as location, facilities, credibility, success story, etc.  There are 3 terms in a session, and the tuition for students attending private schools is paid each term.

Curriculum used in Senior Secondary

Eight subjects are required of each student, six of which are core subjects: English, mathematics, one major language, and three from the student’s major, which are divided into the arts, commercial, and sciences. In a tertiary institution, students who majored in the arts typically study courses like law, mass communication, theatre arts, English literature, etc. Arts subject combination would include Literature in English, Government, and any Religious studies. Those who majored in commercial can study courses such as economics, business management, accounting etc. Commercial subject combinations commonly comprise, Economics, Accounting and Commerce. And, those who majored in sciences, with Physics, Biology and Chemistry as course combinations.

They frequently select medicine and surgery as their top academic choices. Pharmacy, biochemistry, geology, petroleum engineering, and other science disciplines are also in high demand. The sad reality is that if nothing is done, very soon, only secondary school students from private colleges will be able to get the grades required to enrol in programs like medicine and other elite courses in the sciences and the arts. Why? Because crucial learning resources are not available to pupils in public schools.

End road for the indigent

The secondary school system is designed to route students into tertiary institutions. For some Nigerians, it is usually the bus stop. Due to a lack of financial resources, they are either compelled to learn a trade or refrain from enrolling in academic institutions. Few people give up because they fail the final exam or, far less frequently, because they lose interest.A common designation for them is “School Cert. Holder.” Since pupils receive the Senior Secondary Certificate at the conclusion of this phase. However, The National Examination Council (NECO) or the West African Examination Council’s required exams must be taken and/or passed in order to even earn the title. If their parents or sponsors are willing, students who are able to earn at least 6 credits in this exam can continue to tertiary education. Read our previous blog to learn more about how Oprah and Malala’s will to strive and be heard inspired us.

End road for female child

In some regions of Nigeria, completing school-certificate or O’level exams has long been the end of the road for female students. Some people are even made to get married before this. After completing secondary education, a female child is seen as being ready for marriage. There is a common misconception that female children don’t require schooling. Some people promote this idea by saying that a woman belongs in the kitchen. To put it another way, some parents believe that paying for a woman’s education is a complete waste of money. She would wind up in a man’s house, they exclaim! Females with higher levels of education are also better protected from child marriage, sometimes known as early or premature marriage. To guarantee educational equality for female children, more work must be done. For context, check our blog post Sexual Abuse in Nigeria: The Uwaila Vera Omozuwa story.

Entry Job for School Cert. Holders

The military, government, security, etc., as well as private and public organisations may hire holders of this certificate. Although primarily as a driver, salesperson, administrative assistant, or clerical assistant. This is not to say that they can’t venture into business. Exactly why we have handpicked 3 Low Capital Business Ideas for you, in particular

We will discuss tertiary education in Nigeria in the following issue of this series on the country’s educational system.

You need templates to develop your ideas, try Joadre Tool. For premium experience using the tools, download Tribe app (Android Version), a tailored all-in-one app to deliver current business knowledge, promote social entrepreneurs, and provide coaching services. For iOS users, a webapp version and IOS version are on the way. To be notified when it’s available and to receive consistent learning resources  via email, sign up for our newsletter here. Need to get in touch? Use our contact form or  schedule consultation via app.


Joadre Editorial

More on this topic, read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 & Part 4.

Joadre Editorial
Joadre Editorial
Joadre Editorial team is an international mix of experts in the field of human rights, entrepreneurship and global politics. We are passionate to educate and create equity for Africans and the Africa continent.

The Joadre Analysis & Industry Journal

FREE Templates



How To Use Networking To Develop Social Capital

Use our simple networking template and tips to help you grow social capital to develop a meaningful business.

3 Small Business Grants for Nigerian Entrepreneurs

find small business grants for entrepreneurs in Nigeria. Grants with up to 3 million naira supüport. Learn what grants are all about.

3 Tips To Thrive Above Inflation: Sapa Edition

3 tips to apply during Inflation. The world is currently going through an inflation crisis, and Nigeria is not left out.

How To Start A Business In Nigeria. Pt 1

Learn how to start a business in Nigeria step by step. Use these practical advice to become more successful than others.

Create Your Own Blueprint For Your Ideas || Start now

Do not wait. Learn how to create your own blueprint for your ideas. A roadmap will take you towards your goal if you start now!