Nigeria accounts for 12.4 per cent of the out-of-school children in Sub-Saharan Africa, Education Minister Adamu Adamu, has said.
Adamu made this known on Thursday in Benin during activities to mark the 2023 Education Week of the Edo Government.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports the event was themed “Education for Alahgogaro: investing in quality education and access for our children and youth”.
“Our education challenge is an open secret; out of 258 million Out-of-School Children worldwide, an estimated 62 million are in Sub-Saharan Africa”
“Nigeria is said to accounts for 12.4 percent of the Out-of-School Children in sub-Saharan Africa,” he said
Represented by Mrs. Olatunji Davis, Director of Basic Education in the Ministry, the minister said the 2018 National Personnel Audit estimated that 10.5 million children aged five to 14 were not in school.
He added that the figure had been further exacerbated by the increased learning poverty caused by closure of schools and non-return of children to school following the Global COVID-19 pandemic.
To ensure access to quality basic education for the Nigerian child, Adamu said the the June 12 Presidential declaration on the enforcement of free and compulsory basic education for the first nine years of schooling underscored the Nigeria’s commitment to achieving Universal Basic Education (UBE) as enshrined in the UBE Act of 2004.
He listed the strategic programs to achieve the federal government commitment to include the Better Education Service Delivery (BESDA) , Adolescent Girls’ Initiative for Learning and Empowerment (AGILE), IDEAS Program, and the Transforming Education Systems at State
Level (TESS) and the various interventions of the federal ministry of education at the Federal and States and through the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) and other agencies of the Federal Ministry of Education.
“Education is one of the most important investments a country can make in its future. It is a powerful agent of change which improves health, livelihoods, contributes to social stability and drives long-term economic growth.
“The return on investment in education is very high therefore, there must be no compromise on quality,” said the minister.
He stressed that a major policy priority for the Medium-Term National Development Plan still remains to improve access to quality education in the country.
The Minister, however, commended the Edo government for improving the education sector and charged other states to follow suit.
Earlier, the Edo Commissioner for Education, Dr. Joan Oviawe said the education week was to showcase the progress made in EdoBEST, a reform based on technology, in the last six years, as well as what to do moving forward in the learning of our children
She commended the stakeholders for supporting the vision of Gov. Godwin Obaseki’s vision for reenacting education in the state. (NAN)