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NECO Health Education Syllabus

Are you writing Health Education in your NECO O’level exams? Download the recommended Health Education syllabus to excel in your exams.

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About NECO Health Education Syllabus

This NECO Health Education syllabus is excellent material for all who are preparing for the NECO exam and will be writing Health Education. 

It states the key topics you should read for your exams as well as the main areas of focus that will be covered in the exam, like the history and development of Health Education, Human Anatomy and physiology, Personal and Community Health, Nutrition, Drugs, etc.

Aside from a list of topics and their objectives, you also get a list of recommended textbooks and other resources that will help you prepare for your exam. 

Download, study, and read this syllabus and when you are done, test just how prepared you are by solving past questions and see how prepared you are for your exams.

Good luck!

Marking Guide & Sections

The NECO Health Education exam is divided into three papers, Papers 1, 2, and 3 which you must take. Paper Papers 1 and 2 are combined into a single sitting, while Paper 3 is taken separately. 

Paper 1: Multiple Choice

Paper 1 is a multiple-choice paper consisting of 50 questions. You have 1 hour to complete it, with each question carrying one mark for a total of 50 marks. This paper will assess your ability to quickly identify correct answers from a range of options. As there’s no penalty for guessing, it’s best to attempt all questions, even if you’re unsure of some answers. This paper will test your foundational knowledge and understanding of health education concepts.

Paper 2: Short-Structured and Essay Questions

Paper 2 has two sections: Section A and Section B. Section A contains six short-structured questions, and you need to answer all of them. This section is worth 30 marks.

Section A

 The questions in Section A are designed to assess your ability to recall information and provide concise answers. Make sure to read each question carefully and answer directly.

Section B, on the other hand, requires more extensive responses. It offers three essay questions, of which you must choose two to answer. This section is worth 40 marks in total, with each essay question carrying 20 marks and the time frame is 1 hour. You will need to demonstrate a deeper understanding of health education topics and express your thoughts in a clear, organized manner. Use examples and explanations to support your answers, and make sure you fully address each question’s requirements.

Paper 3: Practical Test

Paper 3 is the practical aspect of the exam. It lasts for 1¾ hours and is worth 80 marks. School candidates will take a practical test, while private candidates have an alternative test of practical work. This paper will evaluate your skills and ability to apply health education concepts in real-life scenarios.

Download NECO Health Education Syllabus


Best candidates excel because they study smart and hard. Know what’s expected of you.

Download the NECO recommended Health Education syllabus.

The NECO Health Education Syllabus

1.1 Meaning and setting for health Education
Students should visit to observe community, health facility and workplace base, health
education programmes and services
2HUMAN ANATOMY AND PHYSIOLOGY2.1 Cells and tissues of Human Body
Structure of a typical animal cell and functions of its parts should be discussed.

2.2 Sense Organs
Differences between mitosis and meiosis should be emphasized.

2.3 Systems of the Body
Mention should be made of epithelial, connective and muscular tissue, an organ and
a system should be explained.

2.4 Posture and Postural Defects
3PERSONAL HEALTH3.1 Meaning and importance of physical health.
3.2 Personal hygiene
3.3 Promotion and maintenance of health
(a) Definition
(b) Factors and their roles in the maintenance of health.

3.4 Health Screening
(a) Eye defects and their corrections.
Squints (cross eye).
(b) Auditory defects
(c) Conductive impairment
(ii) Neurosensory impairment
(iii) Disorder of the skin
(iv) Care of the eye, ear and skin.

3.5 Dental health education
(i) Meaning and types
(ii) Types of human teeth
(iii) Teeth diseases
4COMMUNITY HEALTH4.1 Community health services
Community health services
(a) Definition
(b) Providers:
(i) Orthodox services e.g. primary healthcare;
(ii) Traditional services e.g. bone setters, birth attendance.
(c) Community efforts in health promotion care;

4.2 School health programme
(a) Definition
(b) Components
(i) Skill-based health education
(ii) Healthful school environment
(iii) School feeding services
(iv) School health and nutrition services
(v) School, home and community relationship.
(c) Goals and Objectives.
(d) Linkages for promotion (initiatives)
(i) Health Promoting School (HPS)
(ii) Child-Friendly School (CFS)
(iii) Focusing resources on Effective
Schools Health (FRESH)
(iv) Life Skills (LS)
(v) Education for All (EFA)

4.3 Family health
Antenatal care, immunization, oral rehydration therapy (ORT), breastfeeding and safe
motherhood should be discussed.

4.4 Ageing and death education
Candidates should be able to define epidemiology, vital statistics and population dynamics.
The importance and use of health records should be stressed.

4.5 Epidemiology and vital statistics
Effects of poor sanitation and pest infestation in home should be discussed.
Effects of substandard housing on health should be discussed.

5.2 Water supply
Sources should include rain, borehole, rivers, streams, springs, well pond,
pipe borne water .

5.3 Waste disposal
Advantages and disadvantages of each method should be discussed.

5.4 Pollution
The need for health care and rehabilitation should be discussed.
The need for health insurance schemes should be stressed.
Students should be able to identify to differentiate between pests and vectors.
Tests for starch, simple and complex sugars, proteins and fats should be carried out.
Local example of sources of food nutrients should be mentioned

6.2 Balanced/adequate diets
Caloric needs in relations to age, occupation and health condition should be discussed.
Food deficiency diseases should be emphasized.

6.3 Factors influencing feeding habits/choice of foods
Factors responsible for unbalanced diet and effects associated with poor diet should
be discussed.

6.4 Water
Factors should include: availability, religion education, age, belief, health condition and
cost The role of water in relation to nutrition should be discussed

6.5 Nutritional processes: ingestion, digestion, absorption,
assimilation and metabolism and defecation/ejection

6.6 Beverages
Negative and positive effects should be stressed. Nutritional value of non-alcoholic
beverages should be stressed.

6.7 Diet for different group of people: children,male adolescent; female adolescent;
athletes; pregnant woman;adult and aged
Negative and positive effects should be stressed. Nutritional value of non-alcoholic
beverages should be stressed.

6.8 Food hygiene, preservation and storage
Charts should be used to show diets for the different groups of people.
8.2 Behaviour altering chemicals
9.1 Diseases Meaning and classes of diseases.
9.2 Communicable diseases
10.1 Human Reproduction
10.2 Human Sexuality Education
10.3 Family and family member roles
10.4 Family life challenges: widowhood; single parenthood,
premarital and extramarital affairs, in-laws etc.
10.5 Family planning and safe motherhood
10.6 Population Education
11EMOTIONAL AND SOCIAL HEALTH11.1 Interrelationship

11.2 Attributes
The attributes of emotional and social health should be discussed.

11.3 Mental health
Candidates should be able to state factors that promote mental health.
Types, causes prevention and management of mental health should be discussed.
12CONSUMER HEALTH EDUCATION12.1 Consumer health products and services
-The importance of checking label expiry dates on products before purchase should be
-Various agencies promoting consumers health should be discussed.
-Mention features of genuine products and services

12.2 Laws protecting the consumer

12.3 Factors influencing choice of consumer products;
Authenticity; cost; availability; accessibility; availability and

12.4 Consumer health care services
Various types of health services: traditional medicine, orthodox medicine, alternative
methods of healing (acupuncture, yoga and faith healing) should be discussed.

12.5 Quacks and quackery meaning and types
1. Different types of quackery such as mechanical, electrical, drug and cosmetic and
medical quackery should be discussed
2. The danger of quacks and quackery should be highlighted.

12.6 Health insurance and advertisement of health products
and services
1. Meaning and importance of health insurance
2. State of health insurance
3. Advertisement of health products and consumer services.

12.7 Nostrum
Types should include:
(1) Health tonic;
(2) Miracle substances;
(3) Magic portions;
(4) Amulets and talisman

Materials needed in Health Education Laboratory/Examination


1. Models of various organs of the body;

2. Models of various parts of the body e.g. teeth;

3. Human skeleton;

4. Bones of the body;

5. Contraceptive devices;

6. Reagents for testing of starch, protein, and fat;

7. Road safety signs;

8. Different types of safety elements;

9. Posters/charts of systems of the body e.g. reproductive, digestive, excretory;

10. First aid box and kits;

11. Fire extinguisher;

12. Sand bucket;

13. Photographs of health facilities and workers e.g. doctors, nurses, and dentists at work;

14. Photographs of methods of sewage and refuse disposals;

15. Microscope

16. Stethoscope

17. Preserved worms;

18. Preserved pests and vectors

19. Photographs/posters of various types of communicable and non-communicable diseases;

20. Model/poster showing parts of the body;

21. Materials for personal hygiene e.g. toothpaste, comb, toothbrush;

22. Dissecting set

23. Photographs/posters of accident scenes;

24. Photographs/posters showing methods of food preservation

25. Photographs/posters showing disaster scenes;

26. Safety;

27. Photographs/posters of drugs commonly misused/abused

28. Tobacco products;

29. Hand lens;

30. Real objects/photographs/posters/charts of classes of food;

31. Photographs/posters showing correct postures

32. Photographs/posters showing postural abnormalities;

33. Poster/real object of sphygmomanometer, thermometer, litmus paper Snellen chart.

Frequently Asked Questions About the NECO Health Education Exams

How many papers are in the NECO Health Education exam?

The exam has three papers; Papers 1, 2, and 3. Papers 1 and 2 are taken together, and Paper 3 is a separate practical exam. Paper 1 is multiple-choice, Paper 2 has short-structured and essay questions, and Paper 3 is a practical test. Each paper has its focus and style, so you’ll need to be prepared for all of them.


How should I prepare for the practical test in Paper 3?

To prepare for the practical test in Paper 3, it’s important to get practical experience. If you’re a school candidate, your teacher might organize practical sessions where you can practice using the necessary tools and techniques. For private candidates, you might need to find alternative ways to practice even though your practical test will be in an essay format.


What's the best way to study for Paper 1's multiple-choice questions?

Paper 1 is all about quick thinking and choosing the correct answer from a list of options. The best way to study is to focus on the core concepts and practice with multiple-choice questions. Try using flashcards, taking practice tests, and reviewing past exam papers to get a feel for the types of questions you’ll encounter.

How can I improve my essay writing skills for Paper 2?

 You can improve your writing skills by practising answering some essay questions. Start by outlining your answers before you write them to ensure your ideas are organized. Make sure you understand the topic and use examples to support your points. It’s also a good idea to practice writing essays within the allotted time to get used to the exam conditions. Don’t forget to proofread your work for spelling and grammar errors.


What should I focus on when answering short-structured questions in Paper 2?

When answering short-structured questions in Paper 2, focus on providing clear and concise answers. These questions are designed to test your knowledge and understanding, so make sure you answer directly and to the point. If the question has multiple parts, be sure to address each part separately.


How can I manage my time during the exam?

You can manage your time during the exam by allocating time for each section. For Paper 1, you have 1 hour to answer 50 questions, so pace yourself and try not to spend too much time on one question. In Paper 2, remember that Section A requires shorter answers, while Section B involves longer essays. Divide your time accordingly, and leave a few minutes at the end to review your work. In Paper 3, the practical test lasts 1¾ hours, so make sure you’re familiar with the tasks you’ll be asked to perform.


How are the marks distributed across the three papers?

Here’s the breakdown: Paper 1 (multiple-choice) is worth 50 marks, Paper 2 (short-structured and essay questions) is worth 70 marks (30 marks for Section A, 40 marks for Section B), and Paper 3 (practical test) is worth 80 marks. That means the total marks for the exam is 200.


Download NECO Health Education Syllabus


Best candidates excel because they study smart and hard. Know what’s expected of you.

Download the NECO recommended Health Education syllabus.

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