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How To Legally Alter The Academic Year Of Schools In Nigeria

How To Legally Alter The Academic Year Of Schools In Nigeria. DAILY LAW TIPS (Tip 583) by Onyekachi Umah, Esq., LLM. ACIArb(UK)

School/academic year of schools and colleges in Nigeria is regulated by a federal law. It is not left at the discretion of schools managements, boards, teachers’ unions or state commissioners of education.

By the provisions of the School Year (Variation) Act 1991, private or public schools, government or religious schools, city or rural schools, mixed or same sex schools, day or boarding schools, are mandated to commence their school/academic year in the month of September of every year. And, a school year must end in the month of June of the following year. This applies to all schools from Crèche, Nursery, Primary to Secondary Schools in any part of Nigeria. Universities and institutions of higher learning are exempted.

The federal legislation also empowers the Minister in charge of education to give directions as he deems necessary to any school/college to ensure that the mandatory academic year is achieved. The Minister of Education can also extend the mandatory academic year to apply to Universities and other institutions of higher learning in Nigeria via an order published in the Gazette.

There is a bill at the National Assembly (sponsored by Hon. Chukwuka Onyema) seeking for amendment of the School Year (Variation) Act, 1991 and the change of the closing month of a school year from June to now be July. This bill seem to have passed first reading on 12 October 2016.


1. Sections 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 of the School Year (Variation) Act, 1991.

2. The School Year (Variation) Act, (Amendment) Bill 2016. (PLAC, 12 October 2016) <> accessed 12 May 2020










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