Nigerian out-of-school children hit 19.7million as education sector collapses under Buhari Government

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Nigeria’s out-of-school children have now risen to an alarming 19.7million population, making the country to have the third largest out-of-school population in the world. This was made known in the Global Education Monitoring Report developed by an independent team and published by the UNESCO Institute for Statistics on Friday. The new education data covers over 200 countries. UNESCO is an authoritative reference that aims to inform, influence and sustain genuine commitment toward the global education targets in the new Sustainable Development Goals framework. The head Kano office of the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) in March 2022 had said 18.5 million children did not have access to education in Nigeria. The report released yesterday titled, “New estimation confirms out-of-school population is growing in Sub-Saharan Africa” showed that the region not only has the highest out-of-school population it is also the only region where the population is growing.

“It is estimated that 244 million children and youth between the ages of 6 and 18 worldwide were out of school in 2021, of which 118.5 million were girls and 125.5 million were boys,” the report stated.

With 19.7 million, Nigeria is the first African country in the top ten countries with the largest numbers, a situation which depicts how the education sector has collapsed under the current President

Muhammadu Buhari’s government. Some African countries in the top 10 lists are Ethiopia occupying the fourth spot with 10.6 million children. Tanzania has 6.9 million, Congo 5.8 million and Sudan 5.0 million to occupy the seventh, ninth and tenth spots respectively. The report stated that while out-of-school rates among primary school-age children have been consistently declining the main challenge is among adolescents and youth whose out-of-school rates have stagnated since 2010 at 33 per cent and 48 per cent respectively.

“In Nigeria, out-of-school rates among adolescents and youth of secondary school age have hardly changed in 20 years with the result that the out-of-school population in this age group increased by 61 per cent, from 6.3 to 10.1 million. The number of out-of-school children of primary school age also increased by 50 per cent from 6.4 to 9.7million, as the out-of¬-school rate has remained constant at 28 per cent since 2010,” the report stated.

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