Over one million children out-of-school in North-East – UNICEF


The United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF, has raised the alarm that no fewer than 1.6 million children are out of school in the North-East region.

UNICEF Chief of Field Office, Maiduguri Phuong Nguyen disclosed this during a seminar on Foundation Literacy and Numeracy in North-East, Nigeria, held in Maiduguri on Wednesday.

She reiterated that UNICEF remained committed to leaving no child behind as it seeks to accelerate education delivery in Nigeria.

She stressed the need for the government, UNICEF, donor agencies and other development partners to share innovative methods learnt from the implementation of the various programmes in the region.

“At least 1.6 million children are out of school in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe States.

“Of those in school, 72 per cent cannot read a simple text after grade 6. Without acquiring appropriate foundational and transferable skills, children fail to thrive in school and life.

“Addressing the learning crisis in the North-East, and in Nigeria as a whole, requires us to examine the evidence of what works, explore partnerships with the State, NGOs, development partners and communities.

“This seminar provides us with a platform to share evidence, experiences and to renew our commitment to improving learning outcomes of schoolgirls and boys,” she said.

Nguyen assured that UNICEF would convene practitioners, experts government officials and civil society organisations to discuss how best Nigeria can foster Foundational Literacy and Numeracy (FLN) with a particular focus on Teaching at the Right Level (TaRL), Kanuri, Arithmetic and Reading Intervention (KARI), Reading and Numeracy Activity (RANA) and the Accelerated Basic Education Programme (ABEP).

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