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Checklist for setting up Nursery and Primary School in Nigeria

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Nigeria’s over 200 million strong population comprises about 43 per cent of children between 0-14 years, 19 per cent between 15-24 years and about 62 per cent are below age 25 years, according to the United Nations estimates.

This means there is demand for nursery and primary schools and entrepreneurs in the education space are supplying this need.

However, before you rush to set up that school, here is a checklist to help you prepare for a meeting with the government. The requirements may vary from one state to another but this is a good place to start your preparations.


1. Building Structure i.  Purpose-built or restructured to suit purpose with an approved building plan, 

ii. Certificate of Occupancy,

iii. Schools must not be situated within 500 metres radius of each other.

2. Physical Facilities Minimum of five (5) special rooms e.g. 

i. Library with appropriate textbooks suitable for all levels,

ii. Sickbay with two (2.50 by 6 single) beds,

iii. Well-stocked First Aid Box with a certified paramedic or a First Aider and a weighing machine,

iv. Functional ICT suite with internet service and possibly an interactive whiteboard,

v. A desirable science laboratory,

vi. Head Teacher’s office, a spacious staffroom + nine (9) classrooms [3 pre-primary + 6 primary (8.36 metres by 6.80 metres) Classes],

vii. Assistant Head Teacher’s office,

viii. A sizable multi-purpose hall that can be used for indoor games,

ix. Functional standby generator/inverter/solar power.

3. Classroom i. Maximum of 25 pupils in the nursery with a ratio of 1 – 8 (one adult to 8 pupils, one qualified teacher with a teaching assistant) and 35 pupils with 2 adults, at least one teacher and an assistant in primary, 

ii. Availability of functional marker/interactive boards in most classes,

iii. Every class to have a well-resourced reading corner,

iv. Classes should be painted in bright colours,

v. Classes should be well-ventilated and adequately illuminated.

4. Teacher Quality i. Teachers’ nominal roll on letter-head paper, 

ii. Minimum qualification for teachers should be a National Certificate of Education (NCE),

iii. Qualified teachers in all classes with teaching assistants in all nursery classes,

iv. Copies of head teacher’s and teacher’s certificates/credentials,

v. Marriage certificate (were applicable).

5. Health and Sanitation i. Eight (8) toilets with water closets and tiles suitable for all levels, 

ii. Certificates of medical fitness of food vendors,

iii. Potable water and hand wash basins at strategic places in the school,

iv. Adequate provision to be made for specially challenged pupils,

v. Posted signs on personal hygiene,

vi. Waste bins with cover at strategic places,

vii. Well-channelled drainage system.

6. Playground i. Demarcated sand-filled playground or playground with artificial grass carpet, 

ii. Outdoor learning resources provision for nursery classes,

iii. Five (5) outdoor resources – play gadgets for primary.

7. Safety Measures i. Minimum of two (2) functional fire extinguishers and four sand buckets at strategic areas, 

ii. Safety signs with safety-related instructions affixed on the school wall,

iii. Evidence of school policy on child protection,

iv. Sample of identification given to parents/guardians,

v. List of children using school bus where applicable,

vi. Fire exit in classrooms and proto-type building,

vii. A well-plastered fence with a manned gate for security and an opportunity to register at the gate,

viii. A record book on fire drills.

8. Records – Teaching/Statutory i. School development plan, 

ii. Vision and mission statements,

iii. National early childhood curriculum,

iv. Lagos state schemes of work,

v. Timetable for extra-curricular activities,

vi. School rules and regulations,

vii. Constitution and minutes of meeting for the governing body on school letterhead,

viii. List of Board of Governors/PTA/Parents’ Forum and curriculum vitae (CV) of each member,

ix. Sponsors’ CV and credentials,

x. Attendance registers,

xi. Provision for extracurricular activities,

xii. Pay as you earn (PAYE) deduction receipts,

xiii. Proprietor/proprietress three (3) years tax clearance certificate,

xiv. Logbook,

xv. Visitor’s book,

xvi. General timetable for primary,

xvii. Programme of activities for nursery,

xviii. Admission register,

xix. Class attendance register,

xx. Black book,

xxi. Commendation book,

xxii. Lagos state policy on education,

xxiii. Education law,

xxiv. National Policy on Education,

xxv. Diaries,

xxvi. Lesson note,

xxvii. Movement book,

xxviii. Time book,

xxix. Guidelines on the Establishment of Private Schools,

xxx. Scheme of work,

xxxi. Curricular modules,

xxxii. Teachers files,

xxxiii. Students files,

xxxiv. Inward and outward register,

xxxv. Staff minutes book.

9. Beautification of School Compound i. Painting of all the inner classes and corridors in bright colours with beautiful display boards, 

ii. Well-plastered fence,

iii. Natural assorted beautiful flowers.

This checklist was obtained from the Ministry of Education in Lagos and is subject to updates.

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