UNICEF: Imo, Ekiti have lowest out-of-school children in Nigeria

UNICEF: Imo, Ekiti have lowest out-of-school children in Nigeria
Imo and Ekiti rank the lowest among states with out-of-school children in the country.

According to the International Children's Emergency Fund of the United Nations, they have 1% and 2% of such children (UNICEF).

At a two-day media engagement on the Indicators Cluster Survey 6 (MIC6) Results yesterday in Port Harcourt, the capital of Rivers State, UNICEF's Chief of Measurement for Results (M4R), Claes Johanson, provided the statistics.

According to 2018 figures, the states with the fewest out-of-school children were Abia, Kwara, Enugu, Bayelsa, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), and Ekiti.

According to Johanson, only 25% of kids aged seven to 14 had core numeracy skills while 27% of kids had foundational reading skills.

The UNICEF official noted that the MIC6 had helped in fishing out data in every sector that would help in analysing how things were working and why they were not working.

He said: “The lowest out-of-school rates are found in Ekiti (two per cent), and Imo (one per cent). The highest rates are in Kebbi (65 per cent), Zamfara (61 per cent) and Bauchi (61 per cent).”

According to him, the figures indicate that Nigeria has not seen improvement in the number of out-of-school in the past five years and should begin to improve on this area.

The data on the 2018 Digest of Basic Education Statistics by the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) showed that Kano, Akwa Ibom, Katsina, Kaduna, Taraba, Sokoto, Yobe, Zamfara and Bauchi were having the highest figures.

“The MIC6 cleared many things. In education and health, we’ve seen some of the most important findings. There is good news. We’ve seen that fewer children under five were dying.

“A large percentage of this is driven by increase in immunisation.

“So, we had only 34 per cent children immunised five years ago. But now, we have 57 per cent, which really calls for celebration. It is something we should really be happy about.

“We also see that there is room for improvement everywhere, particularly in education. For the first time, we are looking at children that are actually learning, and we see that only 25 per cent have foundational numeracy.

“One out of four children does not even go to school. So, the number of out-of-school children is still one in four, and that’s the same as five years ago.

“So, continuing education is the most important thing,” he said.