UNICEF raises the alarm over out-of-school children in Nigeria.
*14 new public schools enlist in TETFund
United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has said that Nigeria is losing literate and skilled workforce it needs to grow economically due to a huge number of out-of-school children.
The fund’s education specialist, Azuka Menkiti, disclosed in Kano yesterday that Nigeria accounts for more than 20 percent of global out-of-school children and 45 percent in West Africa.
She was speaking at a two-day media dialogue to promote equity in education for children.
According to her, the latest MICS data shows that of the 11.5 million out-of-school children in Nigeria, 7.9 million are in the northern states, with the northeast leading, followed by the north-west.
She explained that girls were in the majority, especially in northern Nigeria.
“Education indicators for northern Nigeria are different from the southern part of the country. While southern states have on average 11 percent of children aged six to14 years out of school, northern states have an average of 31 percent.
In his remarks, UNICEF communication specialist, Geoffrey Njoku, highlighted the need for urgent action against the ugly trend.
“If we continue to have 13.2 million out-of-school children, you can predict where Nigeria will be in the future.”
However, 14 new public tertiary institutions in Nigeria have been enlisted as beneficiaries of the interventions of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund).
This brings the number of schools enlisted under the Fund to 2016, the director, public affairs at TETFund, Benn Ebikwo, stated yesterday.
He said that the enlistment, which was announced during a brief ceremony by the executive secretary of TETFund, Abdullahi Baffa, followed the approval granted to the 14 qualified institutions out of the numerous requests received by the TETFund Board of Trustees (BoT).
The institutions include First Technical University, Ibadan; College of Education, Lanlate; Oke-Ogun Polytechnic, Saki, Oyo State; University of Medical Sciences, Ondo; Gombe State College of Education, Billiri; Ibarapa Polytechnic, Eruwa, Oyo; and Ogun State Institute of Technology, Igbesa.
Others are Gateway Polytechnic, Saapade; Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT), Kaduna; College of Education, Kangere; Bilyamunu Usman Polytechnic, Hadejia; Federal Polytechnic, Ukana; Federal Polytechnic, Ile Oluji; and Enugu State Polytechnic, Iwollo.