The Nigerian government said Monday that its country accounts for more than half of all children out of school in the world, according to Adamu Husaini, a senior official of Nigeria’s Ministry of Education.
Husaini said an estimated 10.5 million Nigerian children are out of school during a summit of education stakeholders in the northwestern city of Kano, according to Premium Times.
“It is sad to note that Nigeria has the highest number of out-of-school children in the world considering the fact that of the 20 million out-of-school children in the world, 10.5 million are in Nigeria.”
Husaini described the figure as disheartening and totally unacceptable to the government.
“The federal government believes that no nation can achieve economic prosperity without a sound inclusive and functional education system.
“This cannot be achieved without security and stability of the nation,’’ Husaini said.
Most of the affected children include street urchins, children of nomadic Fulani cattle herders, children of migrant fishermen, and young girls who are forced in to early marriage. Others are children living with disabilities, and more recently, children displaced by the Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria’s northeast.
Husaini said that in spite of the government’s intervention efforts, issues such as poor class attendance and low educational attainment and completion rates have continued to plague marginalized and vulnerable groups.
According to a UNICEF report, education continues to be one of the least-funded sectors in humanitarian appeals.
In 2015, humanitarian agencies received only 31 percent of their education funding needs, down from 66 percent a decade ago, and despite a 126 percent increase in education requirements since 2005, funding has increased by just 4 percent.