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Problems and Prospects of 6-3-3-4 Education System in Nigeria

The Nigerian education system of 9-3-4, came to replace 6-3-3-4 system of education. The replacement came as a result of some development believed to enhance Nigerian education system and to foster national advancement.

The provision of the 6-3-3-4 system of education was that a child will spend 6 years in primary school, and then in the post primary level, he was to spend the first three years in junior secondary,  and then spend another three years in the senior secondary before proceeding to complete the last four years in the university.

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Problems and Prospects of 6-3-3-4 Education System in Nigeria

A glance to the education system we have before independence will reveal that it was not something to write home about. The system did not  meet the aspirations of Nigerians, it was not commensurated with the expectation of Nigerian citizens, because of the unsatisfied system of education in Nigeria the government had to intervene by way of implementing the kind of education system that will well suit into the yearnings of Nigerians, they believed that adopting an excellent education system will foster national development.

That effort by the federal government brought about the policy of 6-3-3-4 system of education. The policy was believed to engender smooth operation of Nigerian education system perceived to enhance nationality.

The policy was greeted with commitment on the part of government to ensure that the new education policy meet the government agenda of technology driven economy in Nigeria. However, one may be tempted to ask if the government had realized this goal.

However, before  6-3-3-4 system of education in Nigeria came. there were questions raised as to whether the existing education system was suited with the Nigerian nation’s reality, in terms of socioeconomic growth, political stability and the nation’s cultural heritage. The existing system had failed because it could not meet the education standard anticipated, lest alone to have inculcated in the Nigerian child the relevant value which education espoused. There was no entrepreneural development in the school sylabus, and this had led to lack of employment as Nigeran graduated from college without the skills to engage themselves profitably. Moreso, no attention was paid to technology advancement in this system of education.

The tertiary institutions also recorded the same defeat as there was no trace of entrepreneural courses in the universities across the nation thus,  depriving Nigeria of technologists, technicians and scientists as a result of this education system paying so much attention to art courses. Educators had reasoned that the system be changed. Other stakeholders in the  education sector however, criticized the Nigerian education system and demanded that  the system be changed. However, the federal government then could not help than to rise up to the challenge by profering solution to the embattled education system of that time 6-5-2-3 hence, the introduction of the 6-3-3-4 system of education in Nigeria. A new education system that will allow for entrepreneural development in its syllabus, that that develops skills and potential in Nigerians. The system came with some peculiar subjects in its core-curriculun and subjects were compulsory to evey child. The intention of federal government in introducing the 6-3-3-4 system of education was to combine both the academic program with that of vocational, a sort of education system that will guarantee recipients job after graduation. All the necessary basic fundamental such that will equip him for enterpreneurhip, then at the post primary students are expected to be armed with technical and vocational knowledge that will make them profitable Nigerian citizens, while at the tertiary it was human capital intensive, men and women were expected to  become professionals in different areas of human endeavours. Very significantly was the espousing of moral and religious values in Nigerian children.

Inspite of the numerous successes recorded by the 6-3-3-4 system of education, it was as well greeted with numerous problems too. Teachers who were to take on these pupils and students on subjects as contained in its  (6-3-3-4 education system) corecurriculum were scarced. Lack of adequate teachers was one of the problems encountered by that policy,  coupled with lack of infrastructure and adequate instructional facilities

Any system that intens to succeed must be ready to finance its programs adequately, otherwise such initiative could prove to be an effort in futility. One of the problems of 6-3-3-4 system of education in Nigeria was funding issue. Lack of proper funding of this system prevented the full implementation of this education policy. And because of the economic reality most of the students who majored in vocational and technical discipline and who graduated out of this system could not become self employed. The political instability also affected the education policy hence stopping it from meeting its objective. So the nation’s mandate of technology driven economy was hampered.

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Nigerians are perturbed about how education policy is being implemented by those assigned with that responsibility. And I believe there is need for all to come together and profer measures on how to redeem Nigerian nation from this mess otherwise, Nigerian leaders are likely to produce a crop of Nigerian that will be nuisance in our society. The 6-3-3-4 was a welcome development as nothing was wrong with the policy,  but the advocacy to follow it up to the realization of the goal of this system of education has fallen on deaf ears. I see no problem with the 6-3-3-4 system of education in Nigeria, the problem of that was negligence on the part of Nigerian government to keep at its promise of making quality education available to all Nigerian.


Since education is the only instrument that can equip a man and make him more proactive and to achieve legitimate essentials of life, it is what makes an individual a citizen of the world, and as well give meaning to life. No nation, the world over can succeed without quality education, it is about time for Nigerian leaders to begin to think outside the box and devise measure of giving Nigerians quality education. Relevant authorities should be empowered to go researching on  the way forward for Nigerian education system.

Our leaders must be able to weigh options and take appreciative decision to tackle the issue of collapse education in Nigeria, let us not fold our hands and see how our education system is rotting, we must all come together, lend our voices and intellectual capacity to ensure whatsoever education system is trainable today in Nigeria must be followed with all resolve in ensuring that such policy see the light of the day, and live up to its aims and objections.

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Joseph Athanasius

Joseph Athanasius is a Content Developer at InfoGuideNIgeria.com. InfoGuide Nigeria is a team of Resource Persons and Consultants led by Ifiokobong Ibanga. Page maintained by Ifiokobong Ibanga. If you need a personal assistance on this topic, kindly contact us.

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