The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund, UNICEF, in its recent data, pegged Nigeria’s out-of-school children to 18.5 million.
But the federal government has said it plans to reduce out-of-school children by 70 percent. This means that the federal government plans to take 12 million children back to school. 70 percent of the 18.5 million accounts for 12.6 million children.
This was however disclosed by the Senior Special Adviser to the Vice President on Economic Matters, Yosola Akinbi, in a virtual interview with newsmen.
According to her, out-of-school children remain one of the focus points of the federal government, adding that they plan to cut it down by 70 percent.
She said, “The out-of-school children in Nigeria is one of the things we are focusing on and the vision that we have in terms of target, is for us to see how we are going to reduce the out-of-school children by at least 70 percent.”
Akinbi maintained that the federal government also plans to double primary school enrollment from 46 to 90 percent and secondary school enrollment from 40 to 80 percent.
In her words, “We have a vision page. That vision page exactly tells us what we are trying to achieve. In terms of primary school enrolment we want to double it from 46 percent to 90 percent by 2030. Specifically focusing on doubling female enrolment.
“We also said we need to double secondary school completion rate, because we found out that it is not just about getting into secondary school, especially the girls, they do not complete secondary school. And so we think that we need to double it from 40 to 80 percent.
“Of course it is not just about getting these children in school, it is also very important to actually improve the outcomes, that’s why we need to achieve the 80 percent pass rate for students. That’s why we are working also on the teachers and the teacher’s education as well.”
To this end, she expressed optimism that Nigeria’s productivity level should be at 55 percent by 2030, saying that the federal government wants 24 million healthy, educated and productive Nigerians entering the labour market.
“It’s very ambitious but I think we must come from that high level to see how we would participate, contribute and be part of the process to ensure Nigeria moves forward by 2030. Nigeria’s productivity level should be at least 50, 55 percent by 2030.
“We want to have 24 million additionally healthy, educated and productive Nigerians serving and not stunted. We want to have educated and productive Nigerians entering the labour market by 2030,” she stated.