Nigeria Science education reform (part 2)

From the last post Nigeria Science education reform (part 1), I was making a point on the policy of education in Nigeria. I will go on to explain the national conference held, the new policy which came into play which was the 6-3-3-4 system of education.

The National Policy on Education document was revised in 1981 and 1998 and has been in use since then in Nigerian schools until the present time.

The educational objectives at all levels was made, which are related to the overall national objectives of building a:

  • Free
  • Democratic
  • Egalitarian
  • Strong
  • Just and self-reliant Nigerian society
  • And full opportunities for all citizens (FGN,1998).

The policy documents emphasized the importance of science and technology, with both State and Federal governments encouraging citizens to pursue science-related activities.

The broad aims of secondary education in relation to science education as enunciated in the policy document include:

  • to diversify the school curriculum to cater for differences in talents, opportunities and roles possessed by or open to students after their secondary school course;
  • to equip students to live effectively in our modern age of science and technology; and
  • to raise a generation of people who can think for themselves, respect the views and feelings of others, respect the dignity of labour and appreciate those values specified under our broad national aims, and live as good citizens (FGN,1998, p. 16).

In Nigeria today, The Junior Secondary Science Core Curriculum is in ‘integrated form’ based on the principle of the broad-field curriculum design (Federal Ministry of Education (FME), 1985).

The curriculum highlighted the integration of different science subjects which are relevant to a child’s need and experience with the purpose of stressing the fundamental unity of science and laying an adequate foundation for subsequent specialist studies in science education.

The basic science subjects taught in ‘integrated form’ referred to as ‘Integrated Science’ comprises of biology, chemistry and physics topics to enable pupils acquire further knowledge and develop their scientific skills.

The senior secondary level is for those enthusiastic to have a complete six-year secondary education.

Though it is comprehensive, it has a core curriculum designed to broaden student’s knowledge and outcome.

The core curriculum is the group of subjects, which every student must take in addition to his or her specialties (FGN, 1998). They include:

  1. English language
  2. One Nigerian language
  3. Mathematics
  4. One of the following science subjects: Physics, Chemistry and Biology
  5. One of Literature in English, History and Geography
  6. Agricultural Science or a vocational subject.

The science content mandated in the national core curriculum for senior secondary school students is both preparatory and an interface with what is taught during the first year in the tertiary institutions.

It is worth nothing that at the senior secondary level Physics, Chemistry, and Biology are taught to students as if they will all be science students at the university (FME, 1982).

The Science Teachers Association of Nigeria (STAN) has contributed towards science curriculum innovation and renewal and has been highly supportive of integrated science programs at the junior secondary level over the years and has contributed to improving the teaching and learning of science at the senior secondary level by organizing seminars, workshops and conferences for science teachers and students.

The science curriculum in Nigeria today is based on indigenous  cultures and also make emphasis on the use of local materials and as well as the language of the learners environment in promoting the learning of science in schools (Olarewaju, 1991), unlike in the beginning when science education in Nigeria reflected British culture and requirements.


Abdullahi, A. (1984). Science education research in Nigeria.;Nigerian Education Forum, 7(1), 41-50

Fafunwa, A. B. (1983). Integrated science education at the junior secondary school level-wanted science and technology in the mother tongue. Keynote address at the 24th Annual STAN Conference: Ibadan.

Federal Government of Nigeria. (1998). National policy on education (3rd edn). Lagos: NERDC.

Federal Ministry of Education. (FME, 1982). National core curriculum for senior secondary schools. Lagos: N.E.R.D.C.

Federal Ministry of Education. (FME, 1985). National core curriculum for junior secondary schools. Lagos: Federal Government Press.

Ogunleye, A. O. (1999). Science education in Nigeria. Lagos: Sunshine International Publications Nigeria Limited.

Omolewa, M. (1977). Some earliest problems of science education in Nigeria (1859-1932). Journal of Science Teachers Association of Nigeria, 15(3), 72-92.

Olanrewaju, A.O. (1991). The language factor in learning science in Nigerian schools. Journal of the Science Teachers Association of Nigeria, 27(1), 1-6.

Taiwo, C. O. (1975). Science curriculum development in Nigeria. Journal of Science Teachers Association of Nigeria, 14(1), 21-26.

Yoloye, E. A. (1998). Science, technology and mathematics education in the 21st century. Paper presented at the Fafunwa Foundation 2nd Annual Lecture, Lagos, Nigeria.

***latest reform on nigeria science education coming soon***



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