© 2019 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
NBS pulls down misleading education statistics after fact check by ICIR
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has secretly pulled down inaccurate and misleading ‘Education Statistics’ uploaded on its website after the ICIR fact-checked the data.
The education statistics gave a breakdown of school enrolment across the country from 2014 to 2016.
NBS published the statistics on its website on February 16, 2018 and by February 24, the data had been downloaded 303 times.
In analysing the data, NBS said children who enrolled in public early childhood education dropped from 4,672,908 in 2015 to 2,694,787 in 2016.
According to NBS, enrolment in private early childhood education also reduced from 2,076,420 in 2015 to 1,457,461 in 2016.
Subsequently, several media houses published stories based on the education statistics, quoting NBS on the substantial drop in preschool enrolment in 2016.
A FACT CHECK by the ICIR showed that the education statistics was highly inaccurate and misleading. Rather than the reports that enrolment decreased drastically in 2016, evidence indicates that enrolment in early childhood education has been steadily growing since 2001.
After the ICIR fact-checked the education statistics, NBS pulled it down secretly.
To be fair to NBS, the misleading statistics was not generated by the NBS — the custodian of national statistics. The education statistics originated from the Federal Ministry of Education as the third edition of Nigeria Digest of Education Statistics.
While NBS has removed the education statistics from its website, the Ministry of Education still has it on its.
The failure of Ministry of Education to retract the misleading statistics means unsuspecting persons will continue to download and make decisions based on the wrong data.
Adamu Adamu, the Minister of Education, had described the education statistics as a “masterful effort to marshal education data”. He said the education statistics would fulfill the need for reliable and accurate data for effective planning and decision making.
“I would, therefore, wish to urge researchers, planners and policymakers to use the data presented here with confidence for all purposes,” he said.