THE presidential candidate of the African Action Congress, Omoyele Sowore, has decried the number of out-of-school children in Nigeria, saying “it will be a crime not to educate our kids in Nigeria.”
The PUNCH reports that the latest report by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation on Thursday stated that there were “244 million children and youth between the ages of six and 18 worldwide who are still out of school.”
In the statistics, India, Nigeria and Pakistan recorded the highest figures for out-of-school children, giving the African data to include Nigeria “which has an estimated 20 million children and youth out of school, Ethiopia (10.5 million), the Democratic Republic of Congo (5.9 million) and Kenya (1.8 million).”
Reacting on Sunday via a post on Facebook, Sowore said this was disgraceful to the country.
Sowore said, “The UNESCO has reported Nigeria has over 20 million children out of school! 20 million!
“This is both a national disgrace and a state of emergency. But Nigerians are being made to focus on the enemies of kids who kept them out of school in the first place in the coming 2023 elections.”
He decried the fact that this was amid the crisis rocking the universities with the Academic Strike Union of Universities on strike, causing many students to be out of school as well.
The PUNCH reports that ASUU strike is now in its seventh month, since February 14, 2022.
“Besides these kids, our young college students have been locked out of their classrooms by a dishonest and irresponsible government of Nigeria for more than six months now,” Sowore said, adding that, “our #TakeitBack #SoworeMagashi2023 government will declare a state of emergency in the education sector and use a multi-stakeholder/multi-level approach in solving massive problems.
“In line with global best practices, we will engage families and communities and provide social and economic incentives to bring children back to school, we will create and strengthen safe school initiatives to make every child safe in school.”
“Where the environment is unsafe for schooling, we will create community school clusters as an emergency measure with the deployment of virtual learning where possible. We will create sped schools to bring children back and get them up to their grade level in a four-year period.
“By 2027, we would have reduced the out-of-school population by 80 per cent through targeted investment in education, social and economic support for families. As I often stated it will be a crime not to educate our kids in Nigeria,” the human rights activist and Founder of Sahara Reporters, added.
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