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Nigeria’s official data reveal huge gap in implementing basic education law

The primary school enrollment data across Nigerian states have shown that girls are less enrolled in primary school than boys, according to a report, which reveals a huge gap in the country’s implementation of the universal basic law.

According to the available report (http://www.education.gov.ng/index.php/78-featured/152-nemis) on Nigeria Digest of Education Statistics by Federal Ministry of Education, 48.1% of Nigeria’s girls are in primary school while 51.9% of boys are enrolled.

The figures, however, vary across states. While Zamfara State has the lowest enrollment rate for girls with 35.5%, Oyo State has the highest with 51.7%, Akwa Ibom with 51.1%.

Others states that made top spots are Anambra with 51%, Lagos with 50.5%, Ebonyi with 50.2% and FCT with 50.1%. Osun has 49.8% of girl child enrollment in primary school, Ekiti has 49.7% while Rivers, Kano and Delta equally have 49.6%.

Boys are more enrolled in Zamfara with 64.5% then followed by Sokoto and Kebbi with 61.3% and 61.1% respectively.

While the law states that primary school education is compulsory for all Nigerian children, the data released by the Federal Ministry of Education show a huge implementation gap.

A cross-country study shows that an extra year of schooling for girls reduces fertility rates by 5 – 10 per cent.

According to the World Bank, a girl who completes primary school is three times less likely to contract HIV as education remains the window of hope in preventing the spread of ignorance.

Reacting to this, a psychologist at Obafemi Awolowo University, Femi Olaorebikan said: “We more concentrate more on girl-child education in order to build an enlightened society for the common good of all. Necessary support for child education is indeed needed.”

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