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    Nigeria has the highest number of out-of-school children globally — UNICEF

    The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has expressed concern that Nigeria has the largest number of out-of-school children globally, with only 63 percent of primary school children regularly attending school.

    The UN agency also lamented that a staggering 10.2 million primary school-age children and an additional 8.1 million at the junior secondary level are out of school in Nigeria.

    This was stated by the Chief of Field Office, Bauchi UNICEF Field Office, Dr Tushar Rane in a Goodwill message during a 2-day Regional Stakeholders Engagement Meeting on the Out-of-School Children and the Retention, Transition and Completion Models in Bauchi, Gombe and Adamawa states.

    UNICEF further expressed deep concern with the rate of out-of-school children, and low learning achievement in the country, especially in the North-East and North-West sub-regions
    Citing Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey 2021, Rane said only 84 percent of children effectively transition to junior secondary education after primary school completion.
    He added that, “Less than 50 percent – about 2.4 million – of the 5.9 million children who commence Primary Grade 1 annually in Nigeria persist to the conclusion of Junior Secondary Grade 3.

    An analysis of the MICS reports between 2011 and 2021 shows an increase in dropout rates across all genders at the primary level especially in the northern part of the country. Specifically, the primary-level dropout rate rose from 1% in 2011 to 5% in 2021.

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