‘Wahala’, the pigeon English word for problem aptly describes Nigeria’s education situation.
13 million children are out of school in Africa’s richest country.
That is as much as the population Tokyo and more than the population of New York. Most of the children come from the northern states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa. Boko Haram, the Islamist terror group is a big reason for this problem, but not the only one.
Education psychologist Mayowa Adegbile explains that this problem is not good for economic growth.
“Sixty percent of that population are girls only, and you know when you bring it back home, every girl becomes a mother or a woman who would in turn take care of other children. And for a woman who goes to school it has a ripple effect, an economical ripple effect. When she goes to school, she has education, she gets a job, even if she doesn’t have a job… even if it’s just basic secondary school education, she can communicate basic English and mathematics,”
Meanwhile, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) started a petition to the International Criminal Court (ICC), to treat the problem as a crime.
The organization urged the ICC to bring to court those who directly or indirectly have breached their special duty toward children, and are therefore committed a crime.
SERAP said: “These out-of-school Nigerian children have been exposed to real danger, violence and even untimely death. Senior Nigerian politicians have failed to understand the seriousness of the crime of leaving millions of children out of school, and have made an essential contribution to the commission of the crime.”
In 2017, the government admitted the scale of the problem for the first time. The education ministry’s permanent secretary Adamu Hussaini said it was “sad to note” that Nigeria had 10.5 million children out of school. The number has since increased to 13.2 million. Nigeria has 190 million people in total.
What happens when 13 million children grow up to become 13 million adults?
Here’s an information graphic for you to share as widely as possible.