Nigeria requires 20,000 educational institutions to accommodate the out-of-school children, according to UBEC

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The Universal Basic Education Commission has unveiled a concerning educational shortfall in Nigeria, asserting the necessity for an additional 20,000 schools and 907,769 classrooms to accommodate the rising number of out-of-school children within the nation.

This revelation emerged through a statement by Ben Goong, the Director of Press at the Federal Ministry of Education, on Tuesday.

The statement highlighted that during a briefing with the Minister of Education, Prof. Tahir Mamman, the Executive Secretary of UBEC, Hammed Boboyi, presented these statistics, emphasizing the urgency of the situation.

It’s worth noting that there has been controversy surrounding the actual number of out-of-school children in Nigeria.

While the official figures for September 2023 couldn’t be independently verified due to a delay in the national census, UNESCO’s 2022 report estimated approximately 20 million out-of-school children in Nigeria.

Former President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration argued that Nigeria only accounts for 12.4% of out-of-school children in sub-Saharan Africa, contrasting with UNESCO’s figures.

Experts pointed out that this discrepancy arises from UNESCO’s broader age range (6-18 years) compared to the government’s focus on children aged 6-11 years.

Prof. Tahir Mamman, the Minister of Education, expressed a strong commitment to prioritize basic education, recognizing it as the cornerstone for overall national development.

He called upon all states to contribute their share of funding to expedite basic education development.

In conclusion, UBEC’s Executive Secretary, Dr. Hamid Bobo, outlined the need for additional schools and classrooms, highlighting challenges like infrastructure gaps and inadequate manpower that hinder efforts to provide equitable access to quality basic education in Nigeria.

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