The 6-3-3-4 system of education came into being in Nigeria 1983 with the primary focus of meeting the educational needs of its citizenry and equipping the youths with sellable skill that will make them to be self-reliant. To day, twenty five years after a new system of education called the universal Basic Education (UBE) otherwise known as the 9-3-4 has been introduced.

Whose curriculum is expected to meet the millennium development goals (MDGs) by 2020 and objectives of needs,

The UBE intends to offer an uninterrupted 9years of basic education in Nigeria modification and changes in the Nigerian system. It can considered as the process of acquiring know education or the other, whether indigenous or western education. This is because education is as essential to man as life itself on this planet earth. Education varies from place to place and from time to time. It is a very important means of developing any nation.

The term education has not lent itself of any strict consensual definition as it depends on the perspective from which one views it, it can be considered as the process of acquiring knowledge, skills, attitudes, abilities. Competence and the cultural norms of a society by people to transmit development of the society.

BACKGROUND; Critical examination of the type of education in Nigeria before and after independence shows that, this education was inadequate and unsatisfactory to the nation’s yearning and aspirations. In the opinion of Nduka (1984) and Obyan (1982) regurgitate and irresponsive to the need and Aspirations of the Nigeria society. Therefore federal government made effort to find the type of education best suited to Nigeria’s development, hence the identification of 6-3-3-4 system of education. According to Omovo (2006) The history of 6-3-3-4 system of education back to 8th September 1969 during the (international literacy day) when federal commissioner of education bring inaugurate a conference formulated the ideas leading to the 6-3-3-4 programme. The 6-3-3-4 was fashioned to produce graduates who would be able to make use of their mands, head and the heart (the 3Hs of education). The 6-3-3-4 system of education has its short comings, the programme has failed to achieve much not solely due to lack of human and materials resources but largely due to poor implementation.

Review of 6-3-3-4 to the new 9-3-4 system of education. This is a type of educational system where in the recipient of the education would spend six years in primary school education three years in the junior secondary school education, three years in the senior secondary school education, and four years in the tertiary institutions. In these stage, we have primary schools, secondary schools, and tertiary institutions such as college of education, polytechnics and universities respectively.

The educational system in itself is a conscious effort at matching and merging academic and vocational education programmes. And respect for dignity of labor and economic efficiency. It is to provide the child with basic tools to prepare him for local craft. All the secondary stage emphasis is on the acquisition of vocational skills, while it is professionally oriented at the tertiary stage so as to minimize unemployment and produce skill manpower. The new 9-3-4 system of education universal basic (UBE) which took of in 2006. the first nine years of basic and compulsory education up to J.S.S. III level. Three years in the senior secondary school and four years in the tertiary institution. It was designed to streamline the over-crowed nature of subjects offered at the basic education level.

The NCE has in its 52nd meeting in Ibadan approved a subject structure as the new 9-year basic education curriculum, which has been developed by the national education research and development council (NERDC) the new curriculum is expected to be realigned to meet the millennium development goals (MDGs) and education for all (EFA) and from 6-3-3-4 to 9-3-4 system may have been based on the evaluation sanitation witer, hearlth and education brought substantial progress in term life.

The Nigeria educational system has traditionally called the 6-3-3-4 system which has now been replaced by 9-3-4 educational system. Each represent the number of years spent at each level of education.


Similarities between 6-3-3-4 and 9-3-4 educational system

S/N 6-3-3-4 Educational System 9-3-4 Educational System
1. It a form of education in Nigeria Is a form of education in Nigeria
2. It involves primary, secondary and tertiary education It involves primary, secondary and tertiary education
3. It is adopted to increase literacy level among Nigeria It is adopted to in increase literacy level among Nigerians federal
4. Federal and state government as well as private organizations are involved Federal and state government as well as private organization involved
5. Promotional examinations are involved before moving to the next stage Promotional examinations are involved before moving to the next stage.


Differences between 6-3-3-4 and 9-3-4 educational system in Nigeria

S/N 6-3-3-4 Educational system 9-3-4- Educational System
1. Students spend six years in primary school, three years in Junior secondary school (JSS) three years in senior secondary school (SSS) and minimum of four depending on the course of study in the higher institution. Students spend 6 years of primary school education and three years of Junior secondary school education culminating in 9 years of uninterrupted schooling, and transition from one class to another is automatic but determined through continuous assessment
2. This is the first form of educational system in Nigeria by Nigeria universal primary education scheme This is the replacement for 6-3-3-4 education system in Nigeria by the universal basic education (UBE)
3. Education is voluntary Education is compulsory for children at least up to junior secondary school.
4. It did not established by decree It is established by UBEC law section 15
5. It is an old form of Education It is a new form of education



Abdul BB 2002. Issues in Nigeria Educational system: Journal of Educational studies. Calabar 7 (3) 15-17

Fafunwa AB 1982 History of Education in Nigeria. London; George Alien and Unwin Press.

Federal Republic of Nigeria 2004. National Policy on Education (Revised) Lagos: NERDC

Ibrahim A 2006. Education geared towards needs in new Nigeria: Journal of Education and policy, 17 (4):5-8

Olu Aina 1991. Technical and Vocational teacher training as a strategy.





Definition of Education, Education can be define as the formal process by which society deliberately transmit its accumulated knowledge, skills, customs and values from one generation to another, e.g instruction in school. Education can also be seen as the imparting of norms, values and skills into life of a person, in other to be useful for himself and the society as a whole


In ancient Athens, the purpose of education was to produce citizens trained in the arts, and to prepare citizens for both peace and war. Until the age of 6 or so, the boys were taught at home by their mother or by a male slave from age of 6-14, boys went to neighborhood primary school or to a private school books were very expensive are rare, so subject were read out loud and the boys had to memorize everything’s to help them learn, they used writing tables and ruler in primary school, they had to learn two important things the words of homer. A famus greek poet, and how to play the lyre. Their teacher who was always a man, could choose what additional subjects he wanted to teach. He may choose to teach drama, public speaking, government, art, reading, maths, and to play another ancient greek instrument like flute. Following that boys attended a higher school for four more years when they turned 18, they entered military school for two additional years at the age of 20, the graduated Athens girls were not Educated at school, because there were no specific of education for girls. But many learned to read and write at home in the comfort of their courtyard, they received morals and domestic training from mothers, they never attended schools.


Primary Education begins at the age of four (4) for the majority of Nigerians. Students spend six (6) years in primary schools taught at the primary level include mathematics, English, Christian religion studies, Islamic knowledge studies. etc.

The universal basic education (UBE) came as a replacement for Nigerian’s Universal Primary Education. The 9-3-4 system of Education was designed in conforming with the (MDGs) and Education for all (EFA) Kayode 2006, the UBE involves 6 years of primary school Education, and 3 year of junior secondary school of Educational culminating in 9 years of uninterrupted schooling, and transition from one class to another is automatic but determined through continues assessment.


Students spend six years in secondary school, that is 3 years of JSS (Junior secondary school) and 3 years of SSS (Senior Secondary school) the senior secondary school exam is taken in the last year of secondary school (SS3)



The government has majority control of university Education. The federal government of Nigeria has adopted education as an instrument for national development. In addition to the number of universities, there are 13 federal and 14 state owned polytechnic colleges respectively. These were established to train technical, middle-level man power. Some of the colleges are beginning to award degree Nigeria has five main national objectives as stated in national policy on education.

  1. A free and democratic society.
  2. A just egalitarian society
  3. A united, strong and self-reliant nation
  4. A great and dynamic economy
  5. A land of bright and full opportunity for all.

In conclusion, the first-education of Nigeria is the tradition or indigenous education. It is an integral aspect of African culture, despite the widespread of formal or western education. It prepares the individual child for adulthood, it also involves a form of apperntiship system. They study the history, legends and the environment. Education (school) was introduced, there existed the tradition system of bringing up children so that they can learn the ways of their community be able to fit into and contribute effectively as individual.


  1. Letter school can be compare to primary and secondary school in Nigeria.
  2. Athens was initial military form, that is formal education Nigeria Education was formal Education they both operate on formal education.
  3. Athens and Nigeria compare the same elementary school
  4. Nigeria and Athens boys learned how to do gymnastic training e.g play ball, running, boxing, wresting, discuss and javelin throwing
  5. Moral education was the centre of Athens and Nigeria Education.
  6. Athens and Nigeria girls had a primary domestic education
  7. Both learned how to play the lyre and sing, to count, to read and to write.
  8. The curriculum of Athens and Nigeria consisted of reading writing social studies and government


1. In Athens the citizens was the art of both peace and war In Nigeria their Education does not involve any war
2. At age of 18, they involved in military training At age of 18, some still further their education
3. There are no formal courses for higher education There is formal courses for higher education
4. Education in Athens was strictly for boys and not for girls Education in Nigeria was strictly for both boys and girls
5. Athens, their girls never attend school Nigeria girls attend school



Dr. Bola Adamu and V.O. Adesua: History of Education in Nigeria Printed and Published by Apex Publishers Ltd. Ado-Ekiti



The implications of political and economic changes during the colonial period for social for social stratification have already been touched on. The powers of the Oba increase at the expense of the Chiefs, and both were challenged by the new group of entrepreneurs who had become wealthy from the cocoa industry and who demanded an increased say in native Authority affairs. These men provided the leadership of the town improvement unions founded in the 1930s and in towns like Ibadan, Ogbomoso and Ijebu-Ode, they mobilized opposition to the Oba and Chiefs.

The development of Education in Yoruba land has started in the 1850s with the opening of the first mission schools in Lagos and Abeokuta. From the start, there was controversy over the form education should take. The early missionaries stressed the need for vocational training, but the saro demanded

The Academic Education on which their own advancement depended (Ajayi, 1965. 190). The number of schools grew rapidly in 1894, there were already 32 missions school in Lagos alone, and by 1910, there were 120 schools in the Yoruba mission area. by 1930, 17 of the 26 post primary institutions in Nigeria were in Lagos and the west. It was only later that other areas, notable the east of the country, began to catch up. The British were largely content to the missions run the schools only three of the post-primary institution in 1930 were run by the government.

Not surprisingly, Muslims were antipathetic to mission education, and were poorly represented in the schools from the start. The Lagos administration had appreciated the problem, and 1898 they had opened government Muslim school. The experiment was a success, and other schools followed Epe, and Badagry but further expansion in Muslim Education had to wait until the Opening of a few community schools and the foundation of the associations like the Ansar ud-dim, twenty years later (Gbadamosi 1967)

The government was show to respond to the years to producing cleaks for the native authorities highly Educated, Nigerians had no place in the system and were regarded by the British with some suspicion as political agitators, the opening of the yaba higher college in 1934 was insufficient to meet the demand and during the 1930s a stream of southern in Nigerians began to took for university. University Education abroad, with the introduction of elective representation in the 1950s, both the western and eastern Religions of Nigeria were quick to expand their education programmes. In the west free primary education was introduced in 1955, and enrolment increased from 35 percent to 61 percent of the school-age population. The number of schools was increased by nearly a third (Abennethy 1969: 19128) meeting the demand for education was one way in which the political leaders could again legitimacy. The political leader included a number of former teachers, and the Regionalization of the marketing boards provided the funds. Some provision was made for Muslim primary schools, and freedom of religions was guaranted in the schools run by the missions.

The expansion led to some friction between the action group government and its British civil servants who were concerned about the cost of the scheme, the effects on school standards and the unemployment problem forty percent of the regional budget now went on education and taxation and to be raised to help meet the cost. The rise in taxation was unpopular especially in the poorer areas where the need for schooling was least felt. Sporadic violence broken out, and the opposition NSNC won a majority of the western seats in 1954 federal elections.


Dr. Bola Adamu and V.O. Adesua. History of Education in Nigeria Printed and published by Apex Publishers Ltd Ado-Ekiti




This Project is is available for the below list of Nigerian State capitals.
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