The number of out-of-school children (OOSC) in Nigeria has increased at an alarming rate over the past years, reaching approximately 10.5 million children. According to the global out-of-school statistics compiled by the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS), this figure is the highest any country has ever recorded. UNICEF (2022) corroborates the high OOS rates in Nigeria, reporting that one in every five out-of-school children in the world is a Nigerian. The statistics are even much worse in the Northern part of Nigeria compared to other parts of the country. Net school attendance rate in Northern Nigeria, for example, is 53 percent, indicating high dropout risk. This is not withstanding continuous efforts by the federal government to enhance access to education (primary to junior secondary level) by making it free and compulsory. Evidence suggests that the high out-of-school risk in Northern Nigeria is largely associated with conflict situations and other disturbances, though socio-cultural norms, economic barriers, among others, still play a significant role.
May 26, 2022