Katsina State records 536,132 out-of-school children – Report
Katsina State has recorded no fewer than 536,132 out-of-school children, according to the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) statistics.
Mr Muntaka Mukhtar, Education Specialist, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Kano Field Office, made this known on Wednesday in Katsina at a media dialogue on Girl’s Education Project (GEP-3), organised for journalists drawn from Abuja, Kano and Katsina States.
He said that Nigeria was one of the five countries with high rate of out-of-school children, adding that Katsina State recorded 536,132 out-of-school children in the country.
“This data is not from UNICEF, rarher it is according to the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) data.
“Girls’ education goes beyond getting girls into school, it includes ensuring girls learn and feel safe while in school.
“Having the opportunity to complete all levels of education, acquiring the knowledge and skills to compete in the labour market.
“Gaining socio-emotional and life skills necessary to navigate and adapt to a changing world making decisions about their own lives.
“And also contributing to their communities and the world,” Mukhtar said.
He said the identified gaps in equalizing school attendance between boys and girls, and common gender norms continue to put girls at disadvantage, leading to school drop out at higher rate.
According to him, the trend makes parents to prioritize the education of boys over girls as well as encouraged child marriage.
“Every day, girls face barriers to education caused by poverty, cultural norms, poor infrastructure, violence and fragility.
“On prioritizing education for girls, better educated women tend to be more informed about nutrition and health have fewer children and marry at a later age.
“Educated girls are better equipped to become healthier, more prosperous adults, with smaller families and children who are less at risk of illness and death and more likely to succeed,” he said.
On empowerment, Mukhtar said women with primary education earned between 14 and 19 per cent higher than those with no education while those with secondary education earned twice more.
“Child marriage and early childbearing, virtually eliminate child marriage and holds the potential to reduce by 75 per cent, the risk of early childbearing for women.
“Health, nutrition and well being increase women’s knowledge of HIV/AIDS, and also empower them to make decisions about their own healthcare.
“It also improve their sense of psychological well being, reduce risk of partner violence, under five mortality and malnutrition among children,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the exercise is being organised by the Katsina State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) in collaboration with UNICEF and the Foreign Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO) UK Office. (NAN)