10.5m children out of school in Nigeria – UNICEF

Maulid Warfa, the Chief of United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Kano field office says more than 10.5 million children are out of school in Nigeria.

The field office revealed this on Friday in Kano during an event tagged ‘Youth Talk’ to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the conversation on the rights of the child.

According to him, “young people today live in a world of unlimited potential. However, despite gains in the situation facing Nigeria children and young people in recent years, much remains to be done.

Too many Nigerian children and young people are being left behind, especially when it comes to education, Nigeria has the highest number of out of school children”.

He explained that today’s conversation tagged the Naija Youth Talk, with the theme ‘The Nigeria we want, voices from Kano’, will allow young people to create the Nigeria we all want, as well as to build momentum and support for further action.

“Nigeria’s youth bulge of the largest in the world. Out of a population of over 200 million, more than 64 million persons are in the 15 to 35 years age bracket. An age bracket normally categorised as young persons.

It is easy to see this as a challenge to national development and it can be, if not properly manged. But the youth population of any country is a key ingredient of national development, a bridge and transition to a prosperous future”, the UNICEF field officer said.

He although commended the Kano State government for understanding the challenges and working with the key partners including the UNICEF to turn around the unfortunate situation of the youths education for the better.

In his good will message, Dr. Mansur Muhammad-Tukur , Executive Director, Development Professionals Network International (DevProNet) described education, employment and empowerment as major key elements that can contribute to the National development and progress of Nigeria.

He added that a nation develops at a steady pace when the youths of the country are educated and their education is put to right use. And majority of the youths in Nigeria are uneducated and most of them can not read and write.

He therefore said, “illiteracy is one of the biggest problems of our nation, the illiterate population of our country holds back and hinders the progress of our nation.

The government of our country must make special efforts in providing the right education to them in order to make them think logically, rationally and open mindedly.

This will help them act in a responsible manner and work for the progress of the nation”.

Adding that national development is a constructive process of engaging all people of the country in building political stability, social unity and economic prosperity of the country in all encompassing and democratic manner.

It involves all citizens in the process of development of the nation. Youths constitute a major part of the population. Thus, they have the most important role to play in the development of the country.

He said that, “Kano State has the highest number of street buggers ‘Almajiris’, scavengers, hawkers, especially the girl childs in the world, adding that is worrisome.

Muhammad-Tukur, who is also a Co-founder, The African Institute of Development Professionals (iDevPro-African), called on the wealthy individuals to at least sponsor one or two of their house helps to go to school.

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