‘Only 39.4% primary school age children currently enrolled’

• South East tops school enrollment with 60.5percent

Only about 39.4 percent of Nigerian children of primary school age are currently enrolled in school.According to a Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICs) 5, of 2016 and 2017 conducted by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in collaboration with the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) and other partners, about 60 percent of children of school age are out of school.

UNICEF Evaluation Expert, Maureen Okolo who disclosed this at a media dialogue on Data driven reporting organised by UNICEF said MICs also revealed that Northeast with 39.5 percent retains the highest number of out of school age children while the Southeast with 7.7 percent has the lowest number.Okolo noted that about 52 percent of children of primary school age who are currently enrolled in school are based in urban areas while 33.7 percent are in rural areas.

She said, “The Southeast has the highest enrollment with 60.5%, followed by South West, 56.5%, South South 52.5%, North central 48.2%, North west 32.5% while Northeast has the worst enrollment of children with 27.2%”

Earlier at a media dialogue in Enugu State where the key findings on MICs were discussed, Right Data Interpretation by media practitioners and all stakeholders in Nigeria would form basis of advocacy, fund raising and sustenance of development activities in the country.Okolo also said data informs policy decisions and enhance advocacy on priorities and development issues.A representative of Child Right Information Bureau, Olumide Osayinpeju also identified MICs as instrumental to strengthening national statistics.

He emphasized the need to use data figures accurately in the advocacy reports of development partners like UNICEF and other related agencies. “Issues of data has become very urgent and important not only to the government of Nigeria but also to key partners and stakeholders,” Osayinpeju added.Speaking on MICs and Demographic and Health Survey (DHS), the CRIBs representative emphasized that the two surveys are initiatives designed to assist countries in monitoring human development in general and situation of children and women in particular.

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Maureen OkoloUNICEF
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