Over 10 Million Children Out Of School In The North

…Bauchi,Katsina with highest figures
Deputy Representative, UNICEF Nigeria, Pernille Ironside said 10.5 million children aged between 6 to 14 are out of school in Nigeria .
According to her , Bauchi State with the highest number has 1.1 million out-of-school children and Katsina State comes second with 781,500 .
Speaking in Kaduna on Wednesday at the Northern Nigeria Traditional Leaders Conference on Out-of-School Children, The UNICEF Representative in Nigeria observed that many parents in northern Nigeria prefer Islamic education over formal education, but they are not mutually exclusive, adding that children need both.
She noted , “They (children) also have a right to learn to read and write, learn mathematics, and develop the knowledge and skills that will enable them to be contributing citizens of Nigeria.
“One approach to address both needs is the integration of basic education subjects into Islamic centres: Qur’anic, Islamiyya and Tsangaya to reach more children with basic education skills. Approximately, 26 % of Muslim children in northern Nigeria only attend Islamic education.”
She however, recalled that in 1999, Nigeria took a bold step by declaring its commitment to provide free basic education for all children, stressing that this commitment was followed by the establishment of the Universal Basic Education Commission in 2004 to enable the Government to fulfil its commitment to provide free basic education for all children.
“While these are commendable actions towards guaranteeing the right to education for all Nigerian children, we at UNICEF are concerned about the slow progress.”
Ironside ,who lamented that the out of school children lose out on hope and the future they can have for themselves, their families, their communities and their country ,said Nigeria loses out on a literate and skilled workforce it needs to grow economically. Nigeria needs to bring more children into education and into learning Partnerships and collective actions are essential.”
She added, “UNICEF recognizes the importance of the Northern Nigeria Traditional Leaders Conference on Out-of-School.”

 

Source: Dailynews Times

 

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Mike Odeh James
Michael Odeh Akatu James He is currently the Bureau Chief of Kaduna News online and covers the North West as correspondent for the same outfit. Follow him on Twitter @MikeOdehJames1