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UNESCO: Estimated Number of Out-of-School Children in Nigeria Now 20 Million

The top three countries with the most children and youth excluded from education are India, Nigeria and Pakistan.

As the new academic year commences soon, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has put the number of out-of-school children in Nigeria at 20 million.

The latest out-of-school data released by the United Nations agency also revealed that 244 million children and youth aged between six and 18 worldwide are still out of school. Using what it described as a comprehensive measurement methodology, which combines multiple data sources, the UN agency, in new figures published online by the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) and the Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report, said Sub-Saharan Africa remains the region with the highest number of youth and out-of-school of school children.

It put the number of children and young people excluded from education in Sub-Saharan Africa at 98 million.

The region is also the only one where the number is increasing.
The report added: “The region with the second highest out-of-school population is Central and Southern Asia with 85 million. The top three countries with the most children and youth excluded from education are India, Nigeria and Pakistan.

“Global out of school numbers are lower than we thought, but far too many children are still missing out. Countries have committed to benchmarks to slash out-of-school numbers by over half by 2030.

“We must identify solutions during the Transforming Education Summit called by the United Nations Secretary-General this September so that countries can deliver on these pledges. All children should have access to quality education,” said UNESCO’s Assistant-Director General for Education, Stefania Giannini.

The report explained that out-of-school numbers in sub-Saharan Africa continue to rise
According to the report, important data gaps had been filled in countries that have large out-of-school numbers but where no administrative data of good quality has been available for over a decade.

It stated that Nigeria which has an estimated 20 million out-of-school children and youth, Ethiopia (10.5 million), the Democratic Republic of Congo (5.9 million) and Kenya (1.8 million).
Commenting on the report, Director of the Global Education Monitoring Report, Manos Antoninis said: “With UNESCO’s help, 90 per cent of countries have now set national SDG 4 benchmarks for 2025 and 2030, including on out-of-school rates.

“We must step up our support for those who are being deprived of their opportunities, keeping a watchful eye on those who have struggled on their return after COVID-related school closures.”
On her part, the Director of the UNESCO Institute for Statistics, Silvia Montoya, remarked:

“UNESCO has long underscored the need to make more efficient use of the data we have. That’s why we’ve brought together administrative data with information from surveys and censuses. By using multiple data sources, gaps are filled, data trends are smoothed, and we can draw consistent time series.”

Ndubuisi Francis

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