The Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) on Sunday described the figure of 20 million out-of-school-children in Nigeria released by United Nations Educational and Scientific Organisation (UNESCO) as “a hoax and an unverified figure.”
In a statement signed by its Chairman Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary Cassidy Madueke, the group “wondered why UNESCO would announce such outrageous figure as being out of school in the country when in 2020, the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), the body responsible for basic education in Nigeria had released a figure of 6.9 million children as being out of school.
“By 2022 a total of four million children were enrolled in the school system, based on data provided by the Better Education Service Delivery for All (BESDA).
“We therefore wonder where and how UNESCO arrived at its unverified figure of 20 million out-of-school-children. It is important to remind UNESCO that the President Muhammadu Buhari administration has since inception initiated different programmes, including the home-grown school feeding programme, in order to encourage school enrolment in the country.
“So far the government’s strategies have seen the figure of out of school children reduce to about two million.
We therefore advise the UNESCO and other non-governmental organisations to tread with caution when releasing statistics relating to Nigeria’s out-of-school-children figures, to avoid misleading the public.
“It is important that at every point in time they should liaise with the relevant government agencies to avail themselves of accurate information.”