By Alex Uangbaoje, Kaduna
About 25 million children may not be in school in their entire life if adequate measures are not taken, United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) has observed.
UNICEF, further decried the alarming rate of out of school children in, of which northern part of the country ranked high in states that are not taken the issue of education very serious.
Speaking in Kaduna at the 2017 National Enrolment Drive Planning Meeting with journalists, UNICEF said it will soon organise a zonal conference on out of school children in the North Eastern Nigeria.
Making her presentation, UNICEF Education Specialists, Azuka Menkiti, said an estimated 18.6 million girls in Nigeria are not in school.
She added that, out of the 10.5 million out of school children in Nigeria, over 9 million of them are in Qu’ranic education.
“Girls in Northern Nigeria are the first to be excluded from education.”
While insisting that, education is a legal and moral inherent entitlement for everybody, Azuka stressed that only consistent advocacy can change the trend for good.
She added that, as at 2012 about 32.9 percent of the school age children are out of school in Adamawa state.
“Within the period under review, Bauchi recorded 58.2 percent out of school, Borno has 73.4 percent, Gombe recorded 38.6 percent, Jigawa has 61.6 percent while Kaduna has 23.2 percent.
“Kano state has 40 percent, Katsina 55.1, Kebbi 69.1, Niger recorded 50.8. Sokoto, Yobe and Zamfara states recorded 65.3, 63.5 and 76.2 percent respectively”.
UNICEF further revealed that, contrary to assumption that schools corrupts children, been educated rather help in building sound morals.
Speaking earlier, UNICEF External Media Relations Officer, Kaduna Office, Rabiu Musa advised that, Nigeria should use everything within it’s disposal to ensure that every child is educated.
Rabiu, who appealed to media practitioners to form advocacy groups to help disseminate the national enrollment drive, warned that, generation yet unborn will not forgive us if we allow the illiteracy trend in Nigeria to continue.