The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has revealed that Nigeria now has 19.7 million out-of-school children, ranking the country the third highest number of out-of-school children in the world behind Pakistan.
UNESCO revealed this in a report yesterday titled, ‘New estimation confirms out-of-school population is growing in Sub-Saharan Africa’.
The report added that the region not only has the highest out-of-school population, but it is also the only region where the population is increasing.
“It is estimated that 244 million children and youth between the ages of 6 and 18 worldwide were out of school in 2021, of which 118.5 million were girls and 125.5 million were boys,” the report stated.
The report noted that while out-of-school rates among primary school-age children have been consistently dipping, the main challenge is among adolescents and youth, whose out-of-school rates have stalled since 2010 at 33 per cent and 48 per cent, respectively.
“In Nigeria, out-of-school rates among adolescents and youth of secondary school age have hardly changed in 20 years with the result that the out-of-school population in this age group increased by 61 per cent, from 6.3 to 10.1 million. The number of out-of-school children of primary school age also increased by 50 per cent from 6.4 to 9.7million, as the out-of-school rate has remained constant at 28 per cent since 2010,” the report stated.