Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Education has confirmed that with available data, the country’s has 10.5 million out-of-school children roaming the streets, out of 20 million in the whole world.
Speaking Monday at the opening ceremony of the 62nd National Council on Education (NCE) meeting holding in Kano, with the theme ‘Inclusive Education Creating Quality Learning Opportunities for All: Implication for Concurrency in Education in Nigeria, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, Dr. Shade Yemi-Esan regretted that Nigeria remained the only country with the highest number of out-of-school children the world over.
Represented by Dr. Adamu Hussaini , shesaid there was need to take immediate action to remedy the unpleasant situation.
She said, “considering the fact that of the 20 million out-of-school children in the world, about 10.5 million are in Nigeria; it is sad to note that Nigeria has the highest number of out-of-school children in the world.”
She categorized out-of-school children in Nigeria to include the girl-child, almajiri-child, children of nomadic pastoralists, boy-child drop-out, area boys, children of migrant fishermen and farmers, children living with disabilities, and more recently, children displaced by insurgency.
“Although the last few decades have witnessed a steady growth of both governmental and donor-driven education interventions to address the problem of access to quality education, our society is still confronted with the stark reality of low attendance and low attainment and completion rate among the marginalized and vulnerable groups.
“No nation can achieve economic prosperity without a sound, inclusive and functional education system. The security and stability of the country to a large extent, depends on its ability to provide functional education to its citizens. The key to successfully address unemployment and social vices lies in the provision of inclusive quality education for all,” she stated.
In his remarks at the occasion, Kano State Deputy Governor and Commissioner for Education, Prof. Hafiz Abubakar said the theme of the meeting was apt and timely, adding that, “the theme is equally important in view of the fact that Nigeria is among the nations that are committed to the implementation of the SDG at the United Nations General Assembly in September 2015.”
The Deputy Governor who was represented by Special Adviser to Kano state Governor on Education, Malam Bakere Ado Useni further stated that in Kano, “the state government, therefore, made it imperative and draws up clear policy guidelines on inclusive education that will provide guidance for all relevant stakeholders.
“This is to ensure every child is given access to quality education and equal opportunities under the same environment and conditions regardless of their background or disabilities.
The emphasis, therefore, is ‘no child of school age is denied access to education due to his/her physical, social or economic disadvantage.”