The current system of education operating in Nigeria is known as the 6-3-3-4 system. This system gives every Nigerian a chance to contribute his worth to the nation's development at the level commensurable to his mental ability. It ensures that every Nigerian is educated according to the dictates of his cognitive, psychomotor, and affective ability.
The system means that the child spends a total of 12 years to acquire basic education divided into primary and secondary education. The school entry age is placed at age 5.
Primary education is a 6 year affair counting from primary 1 to 6 with each been of one year duration.
Secondary education is also of 6 year period divided into two parts:
i. Junior secondary of 3 years and
ii. Senior secondary also of 3 years.
The junior secondary is made up of JSS 1, JSS 2, and JSS 3 while the senior secondary consists of SSS 1, SSS 2, and SSS 3.
The third tier of the system is the tertiary level which is 4 years. At this stage the student can progress to a polytechnic, a College of Education, Agriculture or of Health Sciences or to the University. For this the candidate must write and pass the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) conducted by the Joint Admissions and Matriculations Board (JAMB)
At the end of the first six years of elementary school, the candidate is expected to enroll in a secondary school of his choice after he must have written and passed the national common entrance examination.
The junior secondary certificate examination is taken at the end of three years of junior secondary. It is prescribed that those who passed the examination should proceed to senior secondary at the same institution or an institution of their choice. And those who failed should enroll in a technical school to learn a trade of their choice.
The senior secondary school examination is written at the end of SSS 3. The general certificate of education (GCE) is conducted as a supplement for that student who did not have the required credit from their SSCE. Candidates who are able to have the required credits can proceed to the tertiary school of their choice.