Nigeria now has 10.2 million out-of-school children – Education Ministry

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Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Education has disclosed that the number of out-of-school children in the country had reduced to 10,193,918.

It said this was based on a National Personnel Audit of both public and private schools in Nigeria, which it conducted in 2018, which shows that.

Speaking at a conference in Abuja on Friday, 12th April, Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, said the audit was part of the 2018/2019 Annual School Census, jointly carried out by the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), National Population Commission (NPC), National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and other stakeholders.

EduCeleb.com recalls that the Executive Secretary of UBEC, Dr Hammid Bobboyi had declared in 2018 that a Demographic Health Survey conducted in 2015 put the number of out-of-school children in the country at 13.2 million.

But records at the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) still estimate them to be 10.5 million since 2010, with about 60 percent of them in Northern Nigeria.

The minister said it became necessary to clarify on the actual figure based on current data as generated through the latest school census.

Details of out of school children figures

Adamu, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Sonny Echono, said the census showed that the states with the most out-of-school children were Kano, Akwa Ibom, Katsina, Kaduna, Taraba, Sokoto, Yobe, Zamfara, Oyo, Benue, Jigawa and Ebonyi states.

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The data indicates that Ekiti has the least number of out-of-school children. It is trailed by the FCT, Bayelsa, Enugu, Kwara, Abia, Cross River, Anambra and Kogi.

The infographics below gives details of how each state in Nigeria stands in this regard.

Out of school children in Nigeria as at 2019

Meanwhile, an analysis of the dat by EduCeleb.com shows that on the geopolitical zone basis, the North West has the highest number of out-of-school children with 3,490,671 children. It is trailed by the North East with 2,001,038 children and the South West with 1,451,740 children.

The North Central has 1,329,111 children not in school while the South South and South East have 1,208,182 and 713,176 respectively.

This shows that both the North West and North East of Nigeria combined have not less than 54% of the national total.

In separate reports, this newspaper published details of the number of out-of-school girls and out-of-school boys in Nigeria summing up to 3,853,297 and 6,340,621 respectively.

Government interventions

The minister added that the Nigerian government had developed four strategic interventions on the out-of-school children, which are Special Education, Boy-Child Education, Girl-Child Education and Almajiri Sensitisation.

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“In 2015, conflicting figures of out-of-school children were being given, ranging from 10 to 13 million,” he said. “We must acknowledge that the issue of data has constituted a stumbling block in terms of planning for the out-of-school children nationwide.”

“However, UBEC, the NPC and the NBS worked together towards this common goal of determining the number of children of school age who are not in school. Based on the conducted National Personnel Audit of both public and private schools, Nigeria has out-of-school children population of 10,193,918.

“In the next four years, therefore, we shall concentrate efforts at increasing advocacy and sensitisation of stakeholders at all levels, and improving synergy between stakeholders at all levels of basic education delivery.”

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