Nigeria’s out-of-school children figure is now 10,193,918, Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, has disclosed.
He said the figure is based on a national personnel audit of public and private schools in Nigeria conducted in 2018.
The executive secretary of the Universal Basic Education Commission (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 Nigeria at 13.2 million.
But speaking at a conference in Abuja on Friday 12th April, 2019, 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.
Records at the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) still estimate Nigeria’s out-of-school children to be 10.5 million since 2010, with about 60 per cent 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.
According to educeleb.com, an education website, the minister who was represented at the event 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.
He 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.
Adamu said: “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 Nigerian Population Commission and the National Bureau of Statistics 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 sensitization of stakeholders at all levels, and improving synergy between stakeholders at all levels of basic education delivery.”
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