Following various intervention programmes by the Government of Nigeria, International agencies, and various development partners, the minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu has revealed that the number of Out-of-School (OSC) Children in the country has reduced from a whopping 13.2 million to 10.2 million.
The Minister made the disclosure at the 12th Edition of the Ministerial Press Briefing on the OSC Phenomenon held in Abuja on Friday.
Adamu, who was represented by Mr. Sonny Echono, Permanent Secretary of the ministry, said that conflicting figures of out-of-school children were being given, ranging from 10 -13 million. He noted that the ministerial strategic plan states that Nigeria has 10.5 million children aged 6-14, out of school.
The minister's representative said the reasons adduced for the unfortunate phenomenon include, but not limited to; financial incapacitation, violent conflicts and ignorance on the part of parents/guardians. He added that lack of political will to confront the ugly phenomenon, socio-cultural complexities, distance to schools; physically challenged children, child labour, migration, and orphanage were other challenges of the OSC.
According to him, the concerns of this administration are two-fold; to find an empirical means of getting the figures right and the best ways of reducing the number to the barest minimum.
"For now, based on the recently conducted National Personnel Audit of both Public and Private schools, Nigeria has an estimated out of school children population of 10,193,918," he said.
Adamu explained that the ministry has, however, encountered some challenges in a bid to reduce the number of OSC. He listed the challenges to include inadequate security occasioned by banditry/insurgency, misconceptions about the value of education