THE United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has said that more than 10.5 million children are out of school in Nigeria.
The Chief of UNICEF, Mr Maulid Warfa, disclosed this Friday in Kano during an event to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the conversation on the rights of the child.
He said: “Young people today live in a world of unlimited potentials. However, despite gains in the situation facing Nigerian children and young people in recent years, much still remains to be done.
“Too many Nigerian children and young people are being left behind, especially when it comes to education. Nigeria has the highest number of out of school children.”
Warfa explained that, “Nigeria’s youth bulge is the largest in the world. Out of a population of over 200 million, more than 64 million persons are in the 15 to 35 years age bracket, an age bracket normally categorised as young persons.
“It is easy to see this as a challenge to national development and it can be, if not properly managed. But the youth population of any country is a key ingredient of national development, a bridge and transition to a prosperous future.”
Warfa commended the Kano State government for understanding the challenges and working with key partners, including UNICEF to turn around the unfortunate situation of youth education for the better.
Executive Director, Development Professionals Network International (DevProNet) Dr Mansur Muhammad-Tukur, described education, employment and empowerment as major key elements that could contribute to Nigeria’s development.
Muhammad-Tukur said, “Kano has the highest number of street beggars or ‘Almajiris’, scavengers and hawkers, especially the girl-child in the world, and this is worrisome,” and called on wealthy individuals to, at least, sponsor one or two of their house maids to school.