- The minister of state for education, Emeka Nwajiuba, has described as worrisome the growing number of out-of-school children in the country
- Nwajiuba said the federal government is not happy about how the number rose within three months
- According to him, a programme has been launched to assist the states by strengthening the quality of education in Nigeria
The federal government has put the current number of out-of-school children in the country at 10 million.
Daily Trust reports that this was disclosed on Thursday, March 18, by the minister of state for education, Emeka Nwajiuba, who said this implies an increase of 3,054,000 from the 6.946 million the figure was in 2020.
The minister of education, Adamu Adamu, had earlier said in January that the number of out-of-school children which was 10.1 million in 2019 had reduced to 6.946 million in 2020.
Speaking at the official flagging off of the World Bank-sponsored Better Education Service for All (BEDSA) in Dutse, Jigawa state, Nwajiuba said with an estimated 10,193,918 children out-of-school, Nigeria has the highest number in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The Sun also reported that the minister, who did not mention the factors responsible for the increase in the figure, said for Nigeria to address the challenges adequately, it must strengthen the quality of basic education by confronting head-on those factors denying children access to basic education.
He said Jigawa was one of the worst-hit, adding that the flag-off of the programme in the state was in appreciation of the efforts of the state government towards reviving the ailing sector.
Nwajiuba said apart from Jigawa, 16 other states, including all those in the northwest and northeast as well as Niger, Rivers, Oyo and Ebonyi states, would also benefit from the intervention to help reduce the number of out-of-school children.
The minister described the current figure of out-of-school children as disturbing, imploring state governments and other stakeholders to join the federal government in addressing the issue since it affects the development of the country.
In his comments, the Jigawa state governor Muhammad Badaru Abubakar said to address the issue of poor enrolment of children and others, his government recruited 1,393 teachers in 2018.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that the House of Representatives expressed serious worry over the disruption of the school calendar in the country caused by rampant attacks on students, teachers in most northern states.
It was reported that the Nigerian lawmakers said that the effect of the constant abduction of school children is that the pupils and students are now traumatised while their parents are afraid to allow them to return to classrooms.
Wale Akinola is a passionate journalist and researcher. He works as a senior political/current affairs editor at Legit.ng. He holds both B. A and Master’s degree in Communications and Language Arts from the University of Ibadan. He also holds a Diploma Certificate in Peace Journalism. He has over 15 years of work experience in both print and online media. He derives joy in keeping the public abreast of current happenings locally and internationally through his writings.