Ministry, research body disagree on 12.3 million out-of-school children
An analytical statistics organisation, SBMorgan Intelligence, has put the number of out-of-school children in Nigeria at 12,320,529.
However, the Federal Ministry of Education disputed the figure, saying Nigeria did not have up to the figure.
SBMorgan Intelligence, which cited its source as the Federal Ministry of Education and Universal Basic Education Board, had said 12,320,529 children were out of school, adding that Bauchi State had the highest number 1,239,759 out-of-school children, followed by Kastina with 873,633 and Kano with 837,479.
It further stated that Edo State had the lowest number with 79,446.
In South-West, the report said Oyo State had the highest with 463,280, Osun State 260,222 and Lagos State 229,264.
In the South-South, Rivers State has the highest number of 196,581 and in the South-East, Ebonyi state has the highest with 151,000.
A Senior Analyst at SBM Intelligence, Joachim MacEbong, said, “The figures are from the Federal Ministry of Education, not SBM, we just put it in a chart.”
He advised that “there should be an increase in the number and quality of teachers, improve security for schools, especially in the North, they should make sure those teachers are properly taken care of by the governments.”
However, the spokesperson for the Ministry of Education, Ben Goong, told our correspondent on the telephone that Nigeria did not have up to the SBM figure.
He said, “People who roll out these figures do not have the mechanism. If there is any Federal Government chart it should be from us and we did not quote any figure.
“Nigeria does not have up to such amount of out-of-school-children. They keep quoting figures of 10 years ago; things have changed, and it is very irritating for me. As of the 2020 annual ministerial press briefing of the Ministry of Education, which was held in January 2021, the minister said we have 6.9 million out-of-school children. But we have the BESDA Education Services which is an institutional arrangement with UBEC and it has the responsibility of getting our children to school, provide infrastructure, and they are doing these effectively all over our schools.”