Executive Secretary, Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), Mr. Hamid Bobboyi, has said that the number of out-of-school children increased from 10.5 million to 13.2 million between 2010 and 2015.
Bobboiyi made this known in Abuja on Thursday at a Pre-conference briefing on Northern Nigeria Traditional Rulers Conference on Out-of-school children.
Bobboyi, who was represented by the Director, Social Mobilisation, Mr. Bello Kagara, said the Demography Health Survey (DHS) jointly conducted by UNICEF and the Ministry of Education revealed this figure.
According to him, up to 2015, the figure was up to 10.5 million.
[penci_blockquote style=”style-2″ align=”none” author=””]“If you add the number of out-of-school children that have been displaced and with the increasing number of birth, you will find out that our source in DHS revealed the out-of-school children has increased to 13.2 million.”[/penci_blockquote]
“Over the last few years due to insurgency challenge and with increasing number of birth, the DHS jointly conducted by UNICEF and the Ministry of education revealed the new figure to 13.2 million.
“For some years now, Nigeria has been besieged by Boko Haram insurgency, which has led to the near collapse of education in the north-east Nigeria.
“If you add the number of out-of-school children that have been displaced and with the increasing number of birth, you will find out that our source in DHS revealed the out-of-school children has increased to 13.2 million.”
The Emir of Argungun, Alhaji Samaila Mera who also reacted to the development, said the involvement of traditional rulers was key to solving the problems of out-of-school children in Nigeria.
The monarch identified socio-cultural factors as a major problem confronting the challenges hindering northern children from going to school.
He averred that the reasons more children are out of school in northern Nigeria was varied and rooted in the socio-cultural and economic environment barriers and bottlenecks.
The emir identified the barriers to include the cost of education, poverty and negative perceptions to formal education, stressing that these factors influenced the educational choices parents make in the region.
Earlier, the Executive Secretary, National Commission for Mass Literary, Adult and Non formal Education (NMEC), Prof. Abba Haladu, said Nigeria must at this point look for ways in addressing the problems.
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He said addressing these problems would make Nigerian children have access to basic quality education.
The Chief Education Specialist, UNICEF Mr. Terry Durnnian, who spoke earlier, said the world can only address the problem of out-of-school children, if Nigeria plays her role in addressing the scourge of Boko Haram insurgency.
Durnnian pledged UNICEF’s readiness to take on the challenge of reducing the number of out-of-school children.
“We are ready to make commitment for actions, the process has begun by UNICEF to lead and support the process of reducing the number of out-of-school children in Nigeria,” he said.