23.1 C

UNESCO’s data on out-of-school children exposes Nigerian govt’s lie




LATEST data from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) shows that Nigeria now has 20.2 million out-of-school children.

The figure is three times the figure (6.9 million) which the Nigerian government claimed as the number of out-of-school children in the country as of May this year.

On Thursday, UNESCO released a new set of data on out-of-school children worldwide, with Nigeria having the highest number.


Over 10 million girls out of school in Nigeria – UNICEF 

UNICEF Says Millions Hungry, Sick, Out Of School In Crisis-Torn Countries

Over 10 million girls out of school in Nigeria – UNICEF 

- Advertisement -

Report on Out-of-school-children in Akwa Ibom: State Government Reaction opens more loopholes

From the data, 244 million children and youth between the ages of 6 and 18 worldwide are out of school.

“Important data gaps have been filled in countries that have large out-of-school numbers but where no administrative data of good quality has been available for over a decade, such as Nigeria, which has an estimated 20.2 million children and youth out of school, Ethiopia (10.5 million), the Democratic Republic of Congo (5.9 million) and Kenya (1.8 million),” UNESCO noted.

UNESCO released the data sequel to the resumption of pupils in schools for a new session this month in most countries.

The organisation expressed worry about the number of out-of-school children and its impacts on achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, among which is Goal Four – quality education for all by 2030.

In May, The ICIR reporter contacted the Director of Press and Public Relations in the Federal Ministry of Education, Ben Bem Goong, to confirm if the number of out-of-school children in the 2018 National Personnel Audit by UBEC was still valid.

The 2018 National Personnel Audit had the most recent information on out-of-school children in Nigeria.

- Advertisement -

But government officials had dished out different figures, prompting the need to confirm the accurate data from Goong.

Goong invited the reporter to his office after a telephone call.

In his office, he repeatedly claimed there were only 6.9 million out-of-school children in the country as of 2020, not 18.5 million as stated in the National Personnel Audit report.

He also quoted from page 11 of a booklet containing the 2020 Annual Ministerial Press Briefing by the Minister of Education Adamu Adamu, stating, “We have reduced the figure of out-of-school children from 10.1 million in 2019 to 6.9 million in 2020.”

When the reporter argued that a UNICEF official quoted 18.5 million a day earlier, Goong got angry and labelled the reporter an unpatriotic citizen who believed in global agencies’ data rather than those provided by the Nigerian government.

He cursed the reporter and ordered him out of his office. The reporter, however, returned the curse.

The ICIR reports that insecurity has contributed to out-of-school children in Nigeria, as the country contributes 8.3 per cent of the problem globally, as contained in UNESCO’s latest data.

- Advertisement -

Insecurity has deteriorated in the country, with the North-West, North-East, North-Central and South-East recording huge tolls of the crisis in the past decade.

In January, The ICIR reported that parents withdrew their children from Kaduna and Niger schools because of the crisis.


Author profile

I bear the light; I'll beam it everywhere. Marcus loves his job dearly, and he gives it his best.
Do you have any information for me? Contact me via email @ mfatunmole@icirnigeria.org or Facebook Messenger @ Marcus Omoniyi Fatunmole. Together, we can make Nigeria work.

Support the ICIR

We invite you to support us to continue the work we do.

Your support will strengthen journalism in Nigeria and help sustain our democracy.


If you or someone you know has a lead, tip or personal experience about this report, our WhatsApp line is open and confidential for a conversation



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Support the ICIR

We need your support to produce excellent journalism at all times.



Nasarawa gov, foreign investor plan Apo-Keffi light rail line to ease traffic

GOVERNOR Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State says plans are underway with a foreign investor...

Amotekun nabs two ritualists for attempted murder in Ekiti

TWO suspected ritualists have been apprehended for attempted murder by operatives of the Western...

Adeleke gives Oyetola’s appointees 48 hours to return ‘looted’ govt properties

OSUN State governor Ademola Adeleke has directed former appointees of his predecessor, Isiaka Oyetola,...

Qatar 2022: How Senegal sealed round of 16 qualification

SENEGAL sealed their place in the World Cup's round of 16 after a 2-1...

Police arrest suspected ESN member in Katsina

THE Katsina State Police Command has arrested a suspected member of the Eastern Security...

Most Read


Subscribe to our newsletter