Nigeria struggles to raise quality of education as dropout rates increase

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Over the last decade, Nigeria’s exponential growth in population has raised concerns as pressure mounts on the country’s overstretched educational system.

At present, Nigeria has the highest number of out-of-school children in the world and about 60 percent of its uneducated population are girls born and raised north of the country.

As more educated mothers demand better academic opportunities for their children, transitions from primary to senior secondary, and eventually tertiary school should be on the increase, however the low purchasing power of the average home makes this a challenge.

Girls between the ages of 8 and 15 years are denied proper exposure to refined knowledge due  to family pressure, early marriage and child labour. To address this issue, UNICEF’s Communication’s Specialist Geoffrey Njoku believes this malaise should be corrected especially because“ educated girls become better mothers, have fewer, healthier children,” he said.

According to data recently released, only 54 percent of the young female demographic in north-eastern Nigeria progress to Junior Secondary Schools.

For this reason, the organisation has embarked on grassroot projects in partnership with the government. One of these is called the ‘Girls Education Project’. This progamme seeks to the academic needs of the girl child and provide the dire necessities required to access to the school system.

Addressing the importance of this initiative, Marek Zmyslowski, managing director, Jumia Travel Nigeria says, “Every child deserves to have shelter, clothing, good food and education which is why we at Jumia Travel are passionate about ensure that we do all we can to support this development and all other initiatives that make the lives of our people better.”

While the government struggles to contend with the situation, pundits have called for primary focus to be paid to rural communities who lack water, electricity and toilet facilities.

In spite of political assurances to reverse years of neglect in the education sector, investment in basic education is rather low compared with other Sub-Saharan countries.

In the 2015 general budget, worth about N4.358trillion, less than 25 percent has been set aside as finance for the sector. At N492, 034billion, observers have argued that the vote falls short of UNESCO’s recommendations and will not likely to effect change in the troubled sector.

Although the situation is being addressed by current efforts of the Nigerian Government with the implementation of the Basic Education scheme, increased enrollment rates have also created challenges in ensuring quality education and satisfactory learning achievement as resources are spread more thinly across a growing number of students.

The compulsory, free Universal Basic Education (UBE) Act was passed into law in 2004 and represents the Government’s strategy to fight illiteracy and extend basic education opportunities to all children in the country.

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2 Comments

  1. Bidemi

    August 3, 2015 at 10:02 pm

    Wow, this is very helpful. We really need to help our young girls. The future depends on them.

  2. Emmanuel Nonye

    April 27, 2019 at 9:24 am

    The quality of education in Nigeria has also added to the amount of school dropout situation in the country.

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