Examining the fragments and causes of increasing out-of-school children in Nigeria

Ndanusa, Mohammed Manzuma-Ndaaba ; Abayomi, Kolapo Quadri (2021)


In spite of various policy initiatives and institutional frameworks, a good number of school-age children roam the streets of Nigeria. Nigeria unduly tops the rank in the total number of out-of-school children in the global scene. Now, about 16 million Out-Of-School Children (OOSC) live in Nigeria, and this means that about one out of five OOSC in the world relate to Nigeria. The number has increased from 8.7 million in 2014 to 13.2 million and 16 million in 2015/2019, respectively. But, this number reduced to 6.95 million in 2020. The breakdown of people in the out-of-school set includes children with disabilities; nomadic groups, comprising of pastoralists and migrants fishing groups; Almajiri students and displaced people due to violent Nigeria conflicts, mostly Northern states like Adamawa, Yobe and Borno. These schools are bedecked with series of schools which have been closed, and they amount to roughly 802, out of which classrooms of about 497 were practically sabotaged, while another 1,392 were entirely damaged. It is absolutely patent that the unadulterated surge in the hiking number of out-of-school children in Nigeria is traceable to the reinforced cases of insecurity, feeble institutional and policy structure, norms and traditions of the people, poverty, and total excommunication of children with disabilities in consideration of policies. This unearthed the OOSC fragments and the plausible instigations of the growing occupants in Nigeria. While this study adopts qualitative approach, it banks largely on secondary data to find out the perplexing population of the out-of-school children. The study concludes that, albeit series of government policy interventions have helped reduce the number of OOSC in 2020, more strategic actions need to be taken to further cushion the growth of the menace of OOSC in the country. Hence, the study proposes some recommendations to reinvigorate the decreasing trend of the OOSC.