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Nigeria’s rate of out-of-school children is disheartening

The description recently by Senator Adams Oshiomhole advocating for adequate funding and monitoring of Universal Basic Education because of the rising number of out-of-school children…

The description recently by Senator Adams Oshiomhole advocating for adequate funding and monitoring of Universal Basic Education because of the rising number of out-of-school children is a repetitive sound bite.

The reality of a large population of uneducated Nigerian youths has been a talking point for decades, yet it is still rising. It is a reflection of the failure of successive federal and state governments.

The senator urged state governments and the FCT to take extraordinary measures to defuse the deadly situation.

UNICEF says one in three children in Nigeria is out of school, putting the number at 10.2 million at the primary level, and 8.1 million at the junior secondary school level. It said one in every five out-of-school children in the world is in Nigeria.

These numbers are depressing. The worst and increasingly incorrigible offenders are the northern states and the region’s elite as over 60 per cent of the total is in the region.

The issue of out-of-school children is a social as well as a serious security problem for us.

Education is the key to Nigeria’s development.

Governments should embark on a comprehensive and radical educational curriculum review and prioritise skills rather than old fashioned theories and colonial educational systems to help human economic growth, skills acquisition and small-scale industry expansion.

Governments also need to ensure that children are safe when they are in school – no child should be afraid to enter a classroom – afraid their school might be attacked or that they will be kidnapped. And no parent should fear sending their children to school.

Nigeria’s education system can be transformed through adequate funding.

 

Abdullahi Adamu can be reached via

[email protected]

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