• Nigeria’s education faces challenge of retaining students, says UNICEF

    Nigerias education faces challenge of retaining students says unicef - nigeria newspapers online
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    .ActionAid claims country lags in primary school enrolment

    United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has said the country’s education system faces challenges in retention, transition and completion by students, particularly in the North East and North West regions of the country.

    Speaking during a two-day regional stakeholders’ meeting on out-of-school children and retention, transition and completion models in Bauchi, Gombe and Adamawa states, UNICEF’s Bauchi Chief of Field Office, Tushar Rane, said the situation had become worse compared to a decade ago.

    Rane said the meeting was to bring out a collective commitment to create and implement models for the reduction of out-of-school children and increasing the retention, transition and completion of adolescents in secondary education.

    According to him, a staggering 10.2 million primary school-age children, and 8.1 million at the junior secondary level, are out of school in Nigeria.

    “Unfortunately, this leaves Nigeria with the largest number of out-of-school children globally. Only 63 per cent of primary school-age children regularly attend school. According to the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey 2021, only 84 per cent of children effectively transition to junior secondary education after primary school. Less than 50 per cent (about 2.4 million) of the 5.9 million children, who commence Primary Grade 1 yearly in Nigeria persist to the conclusion of Junior Secondary 3,” he said.

    A director from Gombe State Universal Basic Education Board, Yawoji Bala, identified some factors increasing the out-of-school children phenomenon as early marriage, peer group, social norms and beliefs.

    The meeting was attended by commissioners of education, executive secretaries of SUBEB and other relevant agencies.

    Meanwhile, ActionAid Nigeria (AAN) has said Nigeria’s primary education net enrolment fumbles against 90 per cent enrolment rate in Ghana and other West African countries.

    The Country Director of ActionAid, Andrew Mamedu, who noted this, yesterday, at the hybrid webinar in commemoration of the Global Action Week for Education, in Abuja, said although progress had been made, there was still a question about quality.

    He quoted UNESCO as saying Nigeria grapples with one of the highest rates of out-of-school children globally, with about 39 million children in Africa.

    Mamedu, who was represented by Kyauta Giwa, said the alarming statistic not only jeopardised their future but also infringed upon their right to education and impeded the country’s progress towards achieving the fourth Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) of Quality Education.

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