A new report by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation, UNESCO has put a lie to claims by the Nigerian government that it has through consistent policies brought down the number of out-of-school-children in Nigeria from the often quoted 10.6 million. The international body puts the new figure at 20.2 million, rating the country along with India and Pakistan. The figure by UNESCO is also higher than that of the National Personnel Audit by the Universal Basic Education Commission, UBEC which in 2018 put it at 18.5 million.
But the minister of education, Adamu Adamu had stated thereafter that the government had ‘reduced the figure of out-of-school children from 10.1 million in 2019 to 6.9 million in 2020.’ The minister, with that statement, ignored the statistics put out by UBEC and the United Nations Children Education Fund, UNICEF of 18.5 million.
UNICEF had relied on factors like the rising spate of insecurity in the country, which forced parents in areas like the Northeast, Northwest and Southeast geo-political zones to withdraw their children and wards from school.
The government has always argued that its school feeding programme has pushed up school enrolment. But the rate at which kidnappers raid schools and the different deadly attacks on educational institutions have had a negative impact on education in recent years.