The Universal Basic Education Commission has said that for Nigeria to absorb nearly 20 million out-of-school children, the government would need to build 20,000 schools with 907,769 classrooms. The commission said this in a statement by by Director, Press, of the Federal Ministry of Education, Ben Goong on Tuesday, September 19, 2023.
The statement stated that the Executive Secretary of UBEC, Hammed Boboyi disclosed the figure while briefing the Minister of Education, Prof. Tahir Mamman about the agency’s activities. The current official figure of out-of-school children in Nigeria could not be independently verified as of September 2023, but a 2022 report by UNESCO estimated that Nigeria has approximately 20 million children, who are not enrolled either in primary or secondary schools.
The UNESCO data contradicted the figure the former Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu attributed to the out-of-school children in the country during the administration of former President, Muhammadu Buhari. In August 2022, Adamu, said the number of out of school children in Nigeria dropped from an estimated 13 million to 6.9 million. He maintained that the number dropped due to the massive enrolment and the collaborative efforts between the federal and state governments.
However, according to the statement by the UBEC, the Minister of Education has promised that “his administration will prioritize basic education in the country, emphasizing that the foundation level is the most critical segment in the sector which must be properly developed to impact positively on other tiers of the sector and overall National Development.”
Prof Tahir also called on all state governments to show greater commitment towards providing counterpart funding to accelerate the development of basic Education in the country. He assured that the government of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu would leave no stone unturned in ensuring that every child in the country is brought on board the ship of education, adding that the forthcoming National Census would end the controversies surrounding the actual figures of out-of-school children.
Source : Pulse News