According to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Nigeria now has the highest number of out of school children in the world.
In a story published by the Voice Of America, the UN agency says its latest survey “indicates that the population of out of school children in Nigeria has risen from 10.5 million to 13.2 million, the highest in the world”.
UNICEF states that of the 13.2 million out- of-school children in Nigeria, 7.9 million (or 69 per cent) are in the northern states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa, “where Boko Haram insecurities have disrupted academic activities”.
“In north-eastern Nigeria, conflict has deprived many children of access to education. Teachers have been killed and schools burned down or closed for security reasons. ”
The UNICEF chief listed other factors responsible for increased number of out-of-school children as poverty, early marriage and poor learning outcomes.
According to him, poverty-related reasons are included as the most important determining factor regarding demand for education and why children are not in school.
“Parents and children from poor households struggle to meet the demands of direct and indirect costs of education. If parents had money, they would prioritise the education of their sons over daughters for socio-cultural reasons.