The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), has ranked Nigeria 10th position in the top ten countries in the world with the highest rates of out-of-school children.
Liberia comes first on the list with the highest proportion of population of its children lacking basic education, while South Sudan has 59%, followed by Eritrea (59%), Afghanistan (46%), Sudan (45), Djibouti, (43%), Equatorial Guinea (42%), Niger (38%), Mali (36%) and Nigeria (34%).
Summarily, 40 per cent of children in the top ten countries do not have access to basic education, UN reports.
UNICEF reveals that two of every five children in the top ten countries are lacking primary education.
The international organisation cites conflict, prolonged periods of drought, flash floods, earthquakes and high rates of extreme poverty as some of the most common reasons children in these countries are denied basic education.
“For countries affected by conflict, school equips children with the knowledge and skills they need to rebuild their communities once the crisis is over, and in the short-term it provides them with the stability and structure required to cope with trauma,” said UNICEF’s Chief of Education, Jo Bourne.
“Schools can also protect children from the trauma and physical dangers around them,” she added.
“When children are not in school, they are at an increased danger of abuse, exploitation and recruitment into armed groups.”
“UNICEF fears that without education, a generation of children living in countries affected by conflict, natural disasters and extreme poverty will grow up without the skills they need to contribute to their countries and economies, exacerbating the already desperate situation for millions of children and their families,” the UN agency stated in the news release.
The UNICEF noted however that Syria has a population of about 2.1 million school-age children who are not in school, even though it is not included in the top ten countries with the highest rates.