Can NCE Holders Teach in Secondary Schools? -

Can NCE Holders Teach in Secondary Schools?

As more students find themselves selecting colleges of education as their preferred institutions in their JAMB applications, particularly when university admissions become challenging, the prospect of teaching in secondary schools becomes a significant consideration. 

Whether you perceive education as a fallback option or you possess an inherent enthusiasm for teaching, the role of molding young minds in a classroom setting can be a rewarding career.

Given the surge in inquiries from aspiring candidates and those already enrolled in colleges of education, it's vital to address a crucial question: "Can an NCE Holder Teach in a Secondary School?"

Yinka raised this question: 

Hi everyone, can NCE holders teach in senior secondary school?

Ankpa followed up with his query:

what can i do with nce certificate? what are the jobs of an nce holder in crs/history? if i go to university to further my education,which course will i apply for? thanks for response in advance?

To address Ankpa's question, I suggest referring to the post titled "Where Can NCE Graduates Work? Best Opportunities!" Trust me, you'll find that compilation invaluable.

The specific concern regarding NCE holders teaching in secondary schools was briefly touched upon in that post. However, in this discourse, let's delve into this topic comprehensively.

NCE Holders Are Eligible to Teach in Secondary Schools

In a broad sense, individuals holding an NCE qualification are not only qualified to teach in primary schools but are also eligible to teach in secondary schools.

The choice is yours! However, your progression within secondary schools is limited if you possess only the Nigerian Certificate in Education (NCE). I'll elaborate on this point shortly.

Upon completing your college education, opportunities abound for you to contribute your teaching skills in both primary and secondary education, be it in public or private educational institutions.

RecommendedIs NCE Accepted for UK Studies and Jobs?

NCE Holders Are Limited in Teaching Senior Secondary Section

By statutory regulations, NCE holders are neither permitted nor expected to teach in the senior section of secondary schools. In other words, their teaching scope is confined to the junior secondary section—ranging from Junior Secondary School 1 (JSS1) to Junior Secondary School 3 (JSS3).

Teaching assignments for Senior Secondary School 1 (SS1) to Senior Secondary School 2 (SS3) are typically reserved for individuals holding a Bachelor of Science (BSC) degree or those with both NCE and a Bachelor of Science in Education (BSC Ed.).

Addressing the same question, an article by Vaguragard Newspaper quoted Mr. Ajao Babatunde, who expressed:

Teaching should be seen as a vocation first. Then, you need to study to gain a deeper understanding of the teaching process. Graduates can teach at any level or class, but there are limitations for NCE holders according to government regulations. For instance, an NCE holder cannot teach beyond JSS3. Graduates can teach any class up to Senior Secondary School 3 (SSS3).

It's noteworthy that in specific parts of the country, where teacher shortages are prevalent, NCE holders might still be engaged in teaching senior classes, although this practice may not be nationally recognized or endorsed.

NCE Holders Can Pursue Further Education While Teaching

Similar to other fields, if you're currently teaching in a primary or junior secondary school and aspire to move on to the senior section, you possess the flexibility to achieve this goal.

Through sandwich degree programs, you can work towards an education degree during extended breaks. Additionally, with various universities offering distance learning programs, you can continue your teaching responsibilities while pursuing your degree remotely.

Upon successful completion of your degree program, you can upgrade your status to a full-fledged senior class teacher.


To address the question of whether NCE holders can teach in secondary schools, the answer is an affirmative YES. However, they are restricted to teaching only in junior classes if the NCE qualification is their sole credential.

By augmenting their qualifications with a BSc/BEd degree—which can be attained while teaching or before embarking on a teaching career—individuals can effortlessly transition to senior class teaching positions. It's important to note that these qualifications are the ones constitutionally recognized as prerequisites for teaching in senior secondary schools.

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