UN: More than 13 million children of age are not in school

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According to a survey conducted by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) the population of out of school children in Nigeria has risen from 10.5 million to 13.2 million, the highest in the world. Most of these children are in Nigeria’s northern states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa,where Boko Haram insecurities have disrupted academic activities.

According to the United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF, more than 13 million children like Bright here in Nigeria are out of school.

Most of them are in Nigeria’s northern states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa, where Boko Haram has been waging a campaign against Western education since 2009.

The group abducted 110 school girls from a school in Dapchi, Yobe State in February this year, but returned the girls except Leah Sharibu one month later and warned their parents never to take their children back to school. Education psychologist, Mayowa Adegbile explains that increasing numbers of out of school children in Nigeria adversely affects economic growth.

“Sixty percent of that population are girls only, and you know when you bring it back home, every girl becomes a mother or a woman who would in turn take care of other children. And for a woman who goes to school it has a ripple effect, an economical ripple effect. When she goes to school, she has education, she gets a job, even if she doesn’t have a job…even if it’s just basic secondary school education, she can communicate basic English and mathematics,” Adegbile said.

Boko Haram is a major factor contributing to the increase inout of school children in Nigeria, but not the only factor. Some cultural beliefs and practices also play significant role.

Nigeria’s budgetary spending on education is not enough to quell the widening gap – only seven percent of Nigeria’s $24 billion 2018budget is earmarked for education.

And so far, there appears to be no new policies to boost education spending.

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