Fresh concerns over Nigeria’s rising number of out-of-school children


As Nigeria joined the rest of the world to mark the fifth International Day of Education (ODE), local and international organisations have raised fresh concerns over the increasing number of out-of-school children in the country.

According to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the number of out-of-school children has increased from 10.5 million to 18.5 million in 2022, a Civil Society Organisation (CSO), Save the Children International (SCI), while raising concern over the increase, stressed the need for Nigerian government to step up investment in education.

The theme of this year’s International Day of Education is, ‘To invest in people, prioritise education’, that builds on the global momentum generated by the UN Transforming Education Summit in September 2022, calling for the maintenance of strong political mobilisation around education and charting the way to translate commitments and global initiatives into action.

Save the Children, in a statement to mark IDE, notes that access to school is not only essential for children’s wellbeing and ability to thrive, it is also a prerequisite for children to acquire the knowledge and skills that are central for building a life of opportunities.

“We reiterate our demands for the Nigerian government’s fulfillment of H.E. President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment at the GPE Global Education Summit to increase education funding to 14 percent by 2022, 16.7 percent in 2023, 20 percent by 2024, and 22.5 percent by 2025,” the statement read.

Read also: Lagos announces 10 weeks of traffic diversion on Lagos-Ibadan Expressway

“Therefore, SCI calls upon governments, donors, partners, the international community and key stakeholders to stand by their commitments to prioritize investment in education and educational transformation towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals,” it added.

Onorakwa Godgift, 16 years from Ogoja, Cross River State, said: “Most of my classmates arrive at school hungry and thirsty having to trek over a long distance every day to school. This means our social and emotional needs are not being met, which is detrimental to our learning and behaviours. This must change through more education funding, which will enable us to achieve our potential and become responsible people tomorrow. And as we reflect and commemorate the annual IDE; we sincerely hope our leaders will be more committed to prioritising education.”

Ibrahim Sunoma, deputy speaker of the National Children Parliament, said: “Almajiri is also a child; there should be a deliberate effort by parents, government and NGOs in investing in their formal education. Education must be for all including children with disability and children on the street. If they are not left out, believe me, we can change our tomorrow for the better. All hands must be on deck to ensure all children have free and quality education at all levels.”

Famari Barro, country director, SCI Nigeria, informed that children constitute a great number of the Nigerian population, and are the future of the society; hence, any investment through prioritizing education will not only propel the economic development of Nigeria but also guarantee an enduring peace, stability, accelerated growth and sustainable development of the country.

In the same vein, UNICEF urged Nigeria to deliver on the commitments made by President Muhammadu Buhari at the UN Secretary General’s Transforming Education Summit in September 2022 to end the global learning crisis.

The agency also urged Nigeria’s presidential candidates to include investments in education as a top priority in their manifestos, as elections draw near.


Source link

Related posts

Presidential leadership and security sector governance

Legal implication and overview of SEC‘s guidelines for digital assets

Market fails to sustain gains