Mind the Gap: Disparities in Senior Secondary School Completion Rates Across Nigeria

Credit: Emmanuel Ikwuegbu

The completion rate for senior secondary school education in Nigeria has been a matter of concern for years. According to the latest data from the 2021 Nigeria Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS), the completion rate for senior secondary education in Nigeria is 53.6%. This means that slightly more than half of all students who start upper secondary school in Nigeria complete their education.

Looking at the data by gender, the completion rate for male students is higher than that for female students, with 57% of male students completing senior secondary school education compared to 50.5% of female students. This gender disparity may be attributed to various factors such as cultural norms, early marriage, and gender-based violence, which often impede girls' education.

The data also shows a significant gap in completion rates between urban and rural areas. The completion rate for senior secondary education in urban areas is 75.8%, which is significantly higher than the rate in rural areas, which is only 37.2%. This disparity may be attributed to factors such as inadequate educational infrastructure, poverty, and a lack of access to educational resources.

The completion rates for senior secondary school education in Nigeria vary significantly by region, with the South East region having the highest completion rate at 82.3%, followed by the South West at 72.9% and the South South at 71%. On the other hand, the Northern regions of the country have much lower completion rates, with the North Central region having a rate of 54.3%, the North West at 36.6%, and the North East at just 33.3%.