A report by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), has put the number of out-of-school children in Nigeria under President Muhammadu Buhari at a whopping 20.2 million.
The report published on Thursday on the website of the United Nations agency, noted that out of an estimated 244 million out-of-school children around the world, Nigeria alone accounts for over 20 million of the total, which is above 10 percent of the entire figure.
According to the figure, Nigeria has more out-of-school children than war-torn African countries like Ethiopia with 10.5 million out-of-school children, Congo with 5.9 million and drought-ravaged Kenya which has only 1.8 million out-of-school children.
An accompanying statement by UNESCO’s Director-General, Audrey Azoulay, noted that sub-Saharan Africa remains the region with the most children and youths out of school, with a total of 98 million children with Nigeria churning up about 47 percent of the figure.
“It is also the only region where this number is increasing: out-of-school rates are falling more slowly than the rate at which the school-age population is growing.
“Important data gaps have been filled in countries that have large out of school numbers but where no administrative data of good quality has been available for over a decade, such as Nigeria which has an estimated 20.2 million children and youth out of school, Ethiopia (10.5 million), the Democratic Republic of Congo (5.9 million) and Kenya (1.8 million),” the UNESCO chief said.
“In view of these results, the objective of quality education for all by 2030, set by the United Nations, risks not being achieved. We need a global mobilization to place education at the top of the international agenda,” Azoulay added.
By Isaac Dachen…