Nigeria’s Out Of School Children– The Nigerian government has expressed concerns in the alarming rate at which children are dropping out of school.
Report reveals that with an estimated 10.5 million children, Nigeria has the highest number of children who are not in school.
The government recognizes the role of culture in the high rate at which children pull away from education. It also identifies the decline in government funded schools as the major cause of children abandoning their education.
The essence of having government funded schools is to make education more available for the masses.
Owing to constant shakiness of the economy, providing the necessary funds for education can be burdensome for the government. Thus the encouragement for other stakeholders to augment the efforts of the government in improving the availability and quality of education.
Education is one of the basic necessities of most African countries especially in the sub-Saharan region.
With education comes enlightenment and the fore-preparation to develop the society.
Education in Nigeria is one sector that demands as much surplus funds as possible. No amount is either too big or too small for funding education in the country.
Well-meaning Nigerians have called out to corporate firms and organizations to be part and parcel of moving education forward. Prof. Mon Nwadiani concurs with the proposition. He believes the educational system in Nigeria will pick up for the best if it is funded collectively by stakeholders.
Last week, human/women rights and education activist, Malala Yousafzai paid Nigeria a visit. Coincidentally, she left a word of advise for the Nigerian government.
Reacting the the high number of Nigeria’s out of school children, Malala urged the acting president, Yemi Osinbajo to declare “an education state of emergency in Nigeria”.
Malala Yousafzai is a Pakistani activist for female education and the youngest-ever Nobel Prize laureate.
A while ago, the Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II cited the necessity to improve education in the northern region of the country. Over religious infrastructures like mosques, the Emir requested that schools be erected instead for the good of their children and for posterity.
“Of what benefit is it to the north, having 3 million children roaming about?”
“Other Muslim nations have put forward girl education.”
“Other Muslim countries have pushed on. We are fighting culture, we are fighting civilization.”
Seconding the views of the Emir, the government suggests that in core Muslim parts of Nigeria, culture and religion plays down on the progress of formal education.
According to UNICEF, an estimated 60% of Nigerian Out of School children live in the northern parts of the country.
BBC’s Hausa editor Jimeh Saleh, however maintains that the bane of education in the north is due to the lack of government funding, rather than cultural factors.
“Government funded schools in Nigeria have practically collapsed over the years because of poor funding leaving children from poor homes with nowhere to go but the streets,”
As it concerns the entire nation, funding is the major problem. Every aspect of education requires money. From infrastructures, facilities, teaching and learning equipment, books to the welfare of the staff; education demands monetary support.
Professor Imogie adds that University education is increasingly becoming very expensive. On that note he proposed that the government re-considers the Public Private Partnership (PPP) Initiative in funding of education.