By Clifford Ndujihe & Chinonso Alozie
THE Executive Secretary of Universal Basic Education Commission, UBEC, Hamid Bobboyi, yesterday, said that in Nigeria, the girl-child constituted over 60 per cent of children out of school.
Bobboyi made this statement in Owerri, during an education advocacy programme, organised by the Imo State Universal Basic Education Board, IMSUBEB, at Imo Trade and Investment Centre, Owerri.
He spoke as the wife of Imo State governor, Nkechi Rochas Okorocha, said that teachers in the state are committed to delivering quality education to students.
In essence, Bobboyi’s statement means that of the 13.2 million out-of-school children in Nigeria, 7.93 million are girls while 5.28 million are boys.
The 13.2 million children who are not in school represent 6.67 per cent of Nigeria’s 198 million people.
Nigeria is better than Pakistan, which has 22.84 million out-of-school children, which is 11.41 per cent of 200 million people.
Nigeria’s West African neighbour, Ghana, has 450,000 children out of school, which is 1.52 per cent of her 29.6 million population. In India, 47 million (3.62 per cent) of the 1.30 billion people are out of school children.
According to the executive secretary, the future of Nigeria lies in the quality of education given to her children.
Bobboyi also mentioned Finland and South Korea as examples of countries that have been given top priority to education.
He said: “We have seen the contribution here in Imo State, in the area of infrastructure, wonderful teachers and looking very happy. We hear of the training and allowances that the government has been giving to teachers in the state.
“But, quality education and laying solid foundation cannot be realised when you don’t take care of teachers in this country. Our future lies only in building the future of our children in education.”