25m Nigerian children lack access to education – Don

Over 25 million children in Nigeria do not have access to education and therefore out of school, Professor Anthony Nwokeocha of Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University, Lapai, has said.
Nwokeocha stated this at the weekend in his inaugural lecture held at the main campus of the university in Lapai.
He explained that 8.7 million of the out of school children were of primary school education level while another nine million kids were roaming the streets as Almajiri in the northern region of the country.
Nwokeocha, who of the Department of Sociology, explained that a chunk of the figure of out of school children also included those who either drop out of secondary school or were unable to secure university admission due to admission crisis in the country.
He said that the inability of most Nigerian students to secure admission through JAMB has forced many to get admission in foreign universities from where they are making records as best students in academic performances.
In the lecture titled, “Sociology Lens on Nigeria Education and Emerging Paradigms”, Nwokeocha stressed the need for admission bodies to relax stringent rules on admission, adding that in some countries, students only present their certificates for admission.
While examining the Almajiri phenomenon, Professor Nwokeocha decried a situation whereby the kids become street beggars in the name of training in Islamic knowledge, adding that, “there is no doubt that the phenomenon carries serious educational, social, political and economic consequences for Nigeria,” explaining that the time to rise up for its reform is now.
He advised for a collective effort on the part of state governments, Islamic leaders and clerics and other stakeholders towards reforming the Almajiri system and resolving its challenges.
He pointed out that the problem of out of school children was not peculiar or limited to the North alone but exists in South east part of the country where male children prefer to go into businesses instead of education.
According to him, “in the eastern part of the country, boys do not cherish educational certificates.
At the age of 21, they become millionaires and flaunt affluence that professors cannot afford.
This also is a challenge that needs urgent attention.”

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