Save the Children International (SCI) has expressed concern over the increasing number of out-of-school children in Nigeria from 10.5 million to 18.5 million in 2022.
Its Country Director, Famari Barro in a statement issued Tuesday to commemorate this year’s International Day of Education (IDE), said from all available records, children constitute a great number of the Nigerian population, and they are the future of the society.
The organization said any investment in this category of the population through prioritizing education would not only propel the economic development of Nigeria but also guarantee enduring peace, stability, accelerated growth and sustainable development of the country.
It said, “According to UNICEF, the number of out-of-school children has increased from 10.5 million to 18.5 million in 2022 – that means, there are millions of good reasons to step up investment in education.”
In 2023, SCI noted that Nigeria was focusing on enhancing access to quality inclusive and gender-responsive education for children and adolescents and those living with disabilities.
It added, “Through its education projects, SCI has reached over 1.3 million children (782,642 girls and 517,358 boys) in nine states, namely, Borno, Yobe, Adamawa, Katsina, Kaduna, Kano, Jigawa, Cross River, and Benue States.”
SCI added that access to school was not only essential for children’s well-being and ability to thrive here and now, but it was also a prerequisite for children to acquire the knowledge and skills that are central to building a life of opportunities.
The international organization, therefore, called on the government to ensure accessible, inclusive, safe, quality and free primary and secondary education that promotes lifelong learning opportunities for all children to realize and release their full potential.