According to the latest global data on out-of-school children by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) Nigeria currently has 20 million out-of-school children.
Over 20 million children in Nigeria have no access to education, as 244 million children and youth between the ages of 6 and 18 worldwide are still out of school, the United Nations Children’s Fund has said.
This is a staggering surge in cases of out-of-school children in Africa’s most populous country, which UNICEF put at 8.7 million under the previous administration led by President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.
The figures in Nigeria have oscillated between 10.5 million and around 15 million for more than a decade, with the situation growing worse due to the degenerating security situation in the country.
As the new school year begins in many parts of the world, UNESCO, which says a new and improved methodology was used to arrive at this figure shares this new data, offering a more accurate analysis of the available evidence.
The New Methodology.
The new methodology, which combines multiple data sources, has been used in the past to estimate flagship health indicators, such as maternal and infant mortality rates.
This is the first time it has been used in education, marking a significant improvement to the robustness of the estimates.
“Global out-of-school numbers are lower than we thought, but far too many children are still missing out. Countries have committed to benchmarks to slash out-of-school numbers by over half by 2030.
“We must identify solutions during the Transforming Education Summit called by the United Nations Secretary-General this September so that countries can deliver on these pledges. All children should have access to quality education,” added Stefania Giannini, UNESCO’s Assistant-Director General for Education.
The global body said the new estimates confirm that the difference in the rate of girls and boys out of school has been considerably reduced.
“Globally, the gaps of 2.5 percentage points among primary school age children and of 3.9 percentage points among upper secondary school age youth in 2000 have been reduced to zero,” UNESCO noted.