By PETER DURU, Makurdi
Despite efforts to achieve Education for All (EFA) and Millennium Development Goals in education before 2015 in Nigeria, Vanguard has reliably gathered that over ten million children of school age are currently not in school across the country.
Educationist and Director General of the Centre for Non-Formal Education and Training, CENFET, Dr. Rosemary Nwangwu disclosed this yesterday in an interview with Vanguard in Makurdi.
She said the figure implied that one out of every school aged child in the country was not enjoying the privilege of acquiring formal eduction.
According to Dr. Nwangwu, a recent study by the United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF, showed that an estimate of “primary age and junior secondary age population of children in Nigeria were 24.7 million and 10.9 million respectively.
”Out of these, about 7.3 million children representing 29.6% who were supposed to be in primary school were out of school while about 26% of the children who were supposed to be in junior secondary or about 2.8 million children were out of school at this level.
”On the aggregate, about 10.1 million children who are supposed to be in basic education were not in school. These figures suggest that whereas one out of three primary age children is out of school, while one out of four junior secondary age children are out of school,”she added.
The Director General of CENFET lamented that appalling situation was the case despite the universal free access to basic education declared by government and the huge amount of resources invested in that sector.
She said government must move fast to check the situation if the country was serious to attain the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in education in order to justify the huge expenditure in that sector.
”The time to act is now, because we all know that education is the bedrock of development in any given society and the earlier we take proactive action to address this anomaly the better for the future generation of this country,” she stressed.
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