Nigeria still has 10.5 million out-of-school children – the world’s highest number the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) says
It reiterated that in 2018 the primary school enrolment had increased in recent years, with net attendance of about 70 per cent,
It said: ‘’Sixty-nine per cent of those children are in northern Nigeria, just as 60 per cent of the out-of-school children are girls.’’
UNICEF Deputy Representative in Nigeria, Pernille Ironside also confirmed the figure, adding that a ministerial strategic plan states that Nigeria has 10.5 million children aged 6-14, out of school.
In her statistics, Bauchi State has the highest number with 1.1 million children that are out of school followed by Katsina with 781,500.
Meanwhile, the Executive Secretary, Universal Basic Education Commission, UBEC, Mr Hamid Bobboyi said that the number of out-of-school children had increased between 2010 and 2015 from 10.5 million to 13.2 million.
Bothered by the increasing rate of out-of-school-children in Nigeria, Eat’N’Go Limited in partnership with Slum2School Africa have earmarked N50 million for 1000 out-of-school-children to return to school in 2019.
With this initiative, the duo aim at providing access to quality education for 1000 undeserved Nigerian children through targeted funds raised from 1st December 2018 to 30th November 2019.
Speaking during a press conference in Lagos, Chief Executive Officer, Eat’N’Go Limited, Patrick McMichael said: ‘’This initiative seeks to directly contribute N50 million generated from proceeds of select products from Domino’s Pizza, Cold Stone Creamery and Pink Berry Gourmet Frozen Yoghurt.’’
According to him, for every Cinnastix purchase from Domino’s Pizza, N100 will be donated to this cause; for every waffle purchased at Cold Stone Creamery, N100 will also be given back while Pink Berry will donate N100 on every bubble waffle purchase.
While explaining that the sponsorship for each child was valued at N50,000, he noted that the 1000 children would receive quality education, coupled with psychosocial support encompassing school needs such as; instructional materials, uniforms, shoes, books, excursions, medical support, extra-curricular classes, tech classes, teacher support, and more.
On Eat’N’Go’s partnership with Slum2School Africa, (a volunteer-driven developmental organisation that provides quality education to disadvantaged children), McMichael said: “We understand the value quality education contributes to an economy and it is our responsibility to ensure we expand our support in partnership with NGos like Slum2School who can help us achieve these goals.
“We believe that as individuals and corporate organisations, we have a collective role to play in improving the state of education in the country.
“We are thankful for this opportunity to lend our support to the development of the educational system for children in Nigeria and we cannot wait to do even more.”
In his remarks, Otto Orondaam, founder of Slum2School Africa quoted UNICEF as saying, “Nigeria records the largest number of out-of-school-children in the world.”
This, he noted, remains a looming threat to the economic prosperity, social security and developmental sustainability of the nation.
According to him, every child has a right to quality education, adding: “That’s why we partner with organisations across the world to support as many disadvantaged children in Nigeria as possible.
“We are grateful to be working with Eat’N’Go which supports our “Hope For Every Child” initiative, and we hope that in the coming years, our goal would increase to cover thousands more.”
Through the collaboration, Orondaam pointed out that Eat’N’Go has demonstrated a hands-on approach in combating one of the most challenging issues in Nigeria today, which is quality education for children.
“The organisation has further showcased its commitment to impacting Nigeria, and making it a better place one cause at a time,” he added.