Mallam Adamu Adamu, the immediate past minister of education, on Wednesday said that the number of out-of-school children in Nigeria now stood at over 16 million which is approximately 20% of children in Nigeria between the ages of 0 – 12. A recent estimated number of children in Nigeria is about 81 million. These children who are meant to be in school are being bandied around carelessly and inappropriately by some people.
Adamu Adamu further classified the number into two, disclosing that out of primary school children stood at 10 million while out of secondary school children accounted for the remaining 6 million.
The former minister of education, Adamu Adamu, who is one of the forty-three ministerial nominees submitted to the senate by the President Mohammadu Buhari currently undergoing screening exercise, told the senate that the figure was obtained from the most recent census data of February 2019.
He lamented that such a high record number of out-of-school children was as a result of corrupt practices among Nigerians despite President Mohammadu Buhari’s ongoing anti-graft war. He also blamed it on poor funding of education sector by both the Federal and State Governments of Nigeria.
Ahmed Lawan, the Senate President of Nigeria, tasked both Executive and Legislative Arms of the Government to work collaboratively to get the children back to school probably through more budgetary allocation to the education sector. He said that Nigeria cannot continue to have her children in the streets. Senator Lawan reiterated the fact that allowing the school children roam the streets poses serious security threat to lives thereby demanding an urgent need to put an end to it.
Many Nigerian children are in the streets hawking various kinds of goods and in many other places doing menial jobs in order to earn a living or support their various families financially. About 1.4 million have been displaced from homes and are in remote areas due to Boko Haram insurgency and Fulani herdsmen-farmers crisis.