`Nigeria has the highest number of children out of school’
By Ayo Okulaja [article from Next.com]
[Originally published September 22, 2010 01:43PM
In ranking Nigeria amongst the worst place for a child to be in 2010, a report by the Global Campaign for Education (GCE) has stated that Nigeria has more children out of education than any other country in the world.
The report claims that an astounding 8.2 million children are not provided with adequate education in Africa’s most populous country. Comparing the nation’s wealth with the apparent low standard of education, the report claims that “the report is made all the more appalling by the fact that Nigeria is far from poor, by African standards. On paper at least it is among the continent’s richest countries, the world’s sixth largest producer of crude oil. But decades of failure to invest in education have left the basic school system hardly functioning, especially in the country’s impoverished north.”
For Primary education, the report claims many students drop out of the school in their first year of education due to `unequal provision of education’ and this it argued, is caused by the lack of political will to address and arrest the issue. “A lack of political will is a major factor in the country having the highest number of children out of school in the world. Gross inequality in the provision of education has led to 8.2 million children out of primary school with many more dropping out within the first year.”
Poor attendance, imbalanced education
The report particularly criticised the northern region of the country for an abysmal amount of children denied good education. “Over half of these children are in the north of the country, with girls suffering the most with many receiving just six months of education in their lives. In the largely Muslim north of Nigeria……….attendance rates are below 50% at primary school and of those only one in every three pupils is female (nationwide, the proportion is five boys to four girls)” it noted.