The new national policy on education in Nigeria is associated with a numerical formula 6-3-3-4 which represents the number of years that a child is expected to spend at various levels of education. The first 6 stands for six years in the primary followed by three years at the junior secondary, three years at the senior secondary and four years at the tertiary levels.

      The new system is in conception and design, a radical departure from the former. British implanted educational system in Nigeria. A striking feature of colonial education in Nigeria was that it was guided by the imperial utilitarian considerations. After political independence, Nigerian educationalists greatly criticized the system which they claimed did not provide for the acquisition of technological development. The critics of the former system lamented that the system was not relevant to the political, economic, social and cultural needs of the Nigerian people. They therefore concluded that such system could not meet the national need for self-reliance and sustenance in a growing agricultural state. Thus, a new system that aimed at acquisition of skills, appreciation of the dignity of labour, solving the country's problems of illiteracy, manpower shortage and promotion scientific and technological advancement .Was devised™ No doubt, the new educational policy in Nigeria aimed at giving the nation a sense of direction by establishing a system that will embody the nation's aspirations.
            The national curriculum conference of 1969 at which the broaci outlines of the policy were agreed upon was attended by practically all known leaders in education in Nigeria: whilst international organizations like UNESCO also participated. The final conference: at which a National Policy document was drafted in 1973 under the chairmanship of Chief S.O. Adebo was also attended by education practitioners from all Ministries of Education and all universities in the .country; representatives of various interest local organizations including women societies, National Union of Nigeria Students and so on
            Two factors are significant in the production of the National Policy on education. The firstjs that all known experts of education were involved and the second is that an exercise which started in 1969 did not produce a final white paper until 1977. The long interval gave enough time, to examine and re-examine the document that it could not be said that the policy was produced on the spur of the moment. I was a document that had the benefit of mature judgment and consideration. More importantly, it is the combined work of the whole country.
            The 49 page document which was revised in 1981 by the Federal Government is presented in thirteen sections apart from the Introduction. The document begins with general and specific statements of the orientation and philosophy of Nigeria's educational system. It therefore examined the various sectors of the formal education system starting from the pie-primary, primary, secondary, higher education including professional education, technical, education, adult and non-formal education, special education, teachers education, educational services, administration and planning and financing of education. It can thus be seen that the policy was indeed a very comprehensive one touching on nearly every facet of our national educational system.
            After affirming the Federal Government's recognition of Education as "an instrument par excellence for effecting national development" as well as "a dynamic instrument of change". The document reiterated the five main national objectives as stated in the Second national Development Plan. These objectives are the building of:
1.         a free and democratic society ;
2.         a just and egalitarian society
3.         a united, strong and self-reliant nation
4.         a great and dynamic economy :
5.         a land of bright and full opportunities for all citizens.

            It further spelt out the values it believes Nigeria education should inculcate in its recipients. They include:
1.         Respect for the worth and dignity of the individuals:
2.         Faith in man's ability to make rational decisions.
3.         Moral   and   spiritual   values   in   interpersonal   and   human          relations.
4.         Shared responsibility for the common good of society.
5.         Respect for the dignity of labour and
6.         Promotion   of the   emotional,   physical   and   psychological
            health of all children.
            The Federal Government in the policy hopes that these vales can be better inculcated through a well designed national system of -education whose broad objectives were stated as:
1.         The inculcation of national consciousness and national unity:
2.         The inculcation of the right type of values and attitudes for the         survival of the individual and the Nigerian society;
3.         The training of the mind in the understanding of the world around    and
4.         The acquisition of appropriate skills,    abilities    and competences both mental and physical as equipment for the individual to live in     and contribute to the development of this society.
            In pursuance of these objectives, the documents came up with a number of plans arid proposals which included the following.
(a)       Pre-primary Education will continue to be provided by private          efforts as
regulated and controlled by the various state and federal        ministries of education.
(b)       Primary Education will be organized for children between the ages   of 6 and 11 as to inculcate permanent literacy and numeracy, the ability to communicate effectively and to lay a sound basis for             scientific thinking.
(c)       Secondary education will last for six years altogether, three years     for the junior secondary and three years for senior secondary. The      broad aims of secondary education were two. Namely
             (1)      Preparation for useful living within the society and
             (2)      Preparation for higher education.
(d)       The curriculum for the junior secondary will be made up of
                        (i)        Core   subjects   (i.e.   Mathematics,   English,   two
                                    Nigerian Language, Science, Social Studies, Art and
                                    Music,  Practical Agriculture, Religious and Moral
                                    Instruction, Physical    Education    and    two    Pre-
                                    Vocational subjects.
                        (ii)     Pre-Vocational!   Subjects   (i.e.   Woodwork,    Metal
                                    Work, Electronics, Mechanics, Local Crafts, Home
                                    Economics and Business Studies),
                        (iii)    Non-Vocational Electives (i.e.  Arabic studies and
(e)       On Completion of the three year junior secondary, a student may      process of the senior secondary (if he/she is academically inclined)   or on the alternative go into an apprenticeship system or some   other scheme for out-of-school vocational training. ;
(f)        The Senior Secondary which will last for another three years will     consist of core subject and electives. The core subjects are basic subjects which will enable a student to offer arts of science in Higher Education. There are.
            1. English language
            2. One Nigerian Language
            3. Mathematics
            4. One of the following alternative subjects- Physics, Chemistry                        and Biology 
            5. One of literature in English, History and Geography. In addition,     every student will be expected to select 3 electives depending   on the choice of career and may drop one of the electives in the  last year of the Senior Secondary School course.  
(g)       The sixth form was to be abolished and pupils would go direct from             secondary school to the university.
(h)       The first school leaving certificate examination will ultimately be abolished and primary school leaving certificates will be issued by Headquarters of individual schools and will be based on continuous assessment of pupils and not on the results of a single             final examination.     
(i)        Higher education should aims:
            (a) The acquisition, development and inculcation of the proper                     value-orientation for the survival of the individual and society.
            (b) The development of the intellectual capacities of individuals to understand and appreciate their environments
            (c) The acquisition of both physical and intellectual skills which will          enable individuals to develop into useful members of the          community.
            (d) the acquisition of an objective view of the local and external       environments
(j)        Higher educational institutions should therefore pursuer their objective through.
            (i)        Teaching
            (ii)       Research
            (iii)     The dissemination of existing and new information
            (iv)      The pursuit of service to the community.
            (v)    Being a storehouse of knowledge,
(k)  Technical education should aim among others at:
            (a) Providing trained manpower in applied science, technology and commerce particularly at sub-professional grades and,
            (b) Providing the technical knowledge and vocational skills   necessary for agricultural, industrial,   commercial and economical          development
(I)   Adult and non-formal education should among others provide   functional literacy education for adults who have never had the      advantage of any formal education and in-service on the job,             vocational and professional training for different categories of workers in order to improve their skills.
(m)      The purpose of special education among others was to provide adequate education for all handicapped children and adults in order that they may fully play their roles in the ' development of the nation.      
(n)       Teacher education should among others aim at producing highly       motivated, conscientious and efficient classroom teachers for all           levels of Nigerian educational system.

Implementation Strategy
            For the implementation of his policy document, the Federal Executive Council in September 1977 set up an implementation committee for the National Policy on Education with the following terms of reference.     
(a)       to translate the policy into a workable blueprint and to develop         programmes for the implementation of the policy.
(b)       To co-ordinate and monitor the implementation of those programme developed under the policy;
(c) To advise Government on and to assist in providing the    infrastructure! and other requirements for policy implementation;       and
(d)       To provide continuous review and assessment of the aims,     objectives and targets of the Policy (and of those programmes developed under it to our national needs and aspirations, and to propose modifications on any aspects as may be found necessary.
            Shortly after the set-up of the Implementation committee at the national level which comprised the representatives from the Federal Ministry of Education, an Implementation Task Force on          the National Policy on Education was set up in every stale. The   Committee's first task was to visit and confer with the task forces-during which various other officials were also met and institutions visited in each state capital. These tours of the 19 states by the Committee started in October 1977 were concluded at the end of June, 1978.
            A progression of the implementation Committee's work saw the emergence of the Blue Print in pages comprising of guidelines for the implementation of the policy. The Committee was specifically set up to pilot those whose task it is to implement the educational policy. It was also to obtain a feed-back on progress made and adequate infrastructures prepared. Thus the difficulties encountered during implementation would be eliminated in good time   in   order to facilitate an   effective   implementation   of the National Policy on Education.
At Kaduna, the first workshop on the implementation of the National policy on education was held from 18th to 20th September 1978 and was attended by about 70 delegates. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss and harmonize the views of the various state Implementation Task Forces and other participants on the various sections of the National Policy on Education. Two other workshops on planning for junior and Senior Secondary Education were held In Kaduna in April and September 1981 respectively. A workshop on the planning for Senior Secondary Education was held in Port Harcourt from 14th to 16th April. 1986 on Transition to Polytechnics and Colleges of Education.
            Meanwhile, the handing over of power to the Civilian Government in October 1979 occurred under a new Federal Constitution. This Constitution had some provisions which were in conflict with certain aspects of the 1977 edition of the National Policy on Education, it therefore became necessary to bring the National Policy on education in line with new Federal Constitution, Early in 1980, the Federal Ministry of Education set up committee to undertake the revision exercise and appointed Professor Sanya Onabamiro, the then Chairman of the Implementation Committee, as Chairman of that Committee.
            The report of this committee, as approved by the Federal Government, came out early in 1981 as a new While Paper entitled National Policy on Education (Revised).
            When the products of the U.P.E. were admitted into the Junior Secondary Schools in 1982 only the Federal Government Colleges and ten Stales namely Anambra, Dauchi, Boino, Cross
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