The Federal Government (FG) has estimated that the country now has an estimate of 10,193,918 out of school children.
This, it said, was due to insurgency, acute poverty, child labour, lack of political will, children with special needs and so on from Kano, Akwa Ibom, Katsina, Kaduna, Taraba and Sokoto. Others are Yobe, Zamfara, Oyo, Benue, Jigawa, Ebonyi, Borno, Yobe and Adamawa.
Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Arc. Sonny Echono, speaking on behalf of the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, stated that Nigeria had one of the highest numbers of out-of-school children in sub-Saharan Africa and perhaps in the world, ranked only second to Pakistan.
Echono said this yesterday in Abuja at the 12th edition of the weekend ministerial press briefing.
He added that the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), the World Bank (WB), United Nations International Children Education Fund (UNICEF) and other development partners are collaborating efforts to reduce the number of out-of-school children.
He said: “For now, based on the recently conducted national personnel audit of both public and private schools, Nigeria has an estimated out-of-school children population of 10.193,918.
“This administration also embarked on the school feeding programme in some states of the federation. It is now clear that the programme has led to an unprecedented increase in school enrolment. I want to assure you that by the time we complete this year’s school census exercise, the number of out-of-school children would have dropped significantly.
“The ministry in collaboration with the National Mass Adult and Non-Formal Education Commission has developed a template to capture the children in these expanded centres. This will also help reduce the number of out of school children.”