An Open Letter to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Honorable Minister of Education on the Urgent Need to Address the State of Education in the Country.

Abuja Nigeria – 24 January 2024.

As we celebrate World Education Day today, a shadow hangs over our nation: the shadow of MILLIONS OF OUT-OF-SCHOOL CHILDREN. With an estimated 10.5 million children, Nigeria holds the unenviable title of having the highest rate of out-of-school children in the world. This is not just a statistic; it represents untapped potential, unexplored dreams, and a blurry future for millions of young Nigerians.

The Data show 1 in 3 children are out-of-school children in Nigeria, 12.4 million children never attended school and 5.9 million left school early according to UNICEF in Nigeria, this number is disproportionately high in the North, with states like Borno and Yobe exceeding 50% out-of-school rates.

GIRLS ARE DISADVANTAGED, with a 60% higher out-of-school rate than boys.

The causes such as poverty, increasing insecurity, poor access, cultural factors, and inadequate quality of education including low teacher motivation and outdated curricula discourage enrollment. This leaves us to deal with the dare consequences, including:
Perpetuating poverty: Out-of-school children are more likely to remain trapped in poverty cycles.
Fueling insecurity: Lack of education can lead to vulnerability and recruitment into armed groups.
Hindering development: A nation without an educated workforce cannot thrive in the globalized world.


The President, Honorable Minister, we implore you to stop this ticking time bomb by making do with your promises:
Prioritize education and take a holistic approach to strengthening the educational system.
Make education free and accessible by removing all financial barriers, expanding school infrastructure, and providing transportation options.
Allocate more resources to education, particularly in underserved areas.
Prioritize girls’ education by implementing targeted programs to attract and retain girls in school.
Invest in research by updating curricula and providing quality learning materials.
Invest in teachers’ motivation through training and an increase in remuneration.
Address insecurity by working with communities and security forces to ensure safe learning environments and
Collaborate and coordinate with stakeholders; international partners, NGOs, community leaders, and parents in achieving the recommendation above.

This should be done with A SENSE OF URGENCY. Let World Education Day be a turning point, a day when we move to ensure learning for lasting peace, and enough of the insecurity in our nation by committing to building a future where every Nigerian child has the right to quality education.
The Executive Director of Gem Hub Initiative, Oyeyemi Pitan says “In the pursuit of progress, we entrust our vision to those who lead. Our collective future rests not solely on the decisions of today but on the wisdom and courage to act with compassion, foresight, and integrity. Let our shared commitment to a better tomorrow guide the choices we make today”.

About Gem Hub Initiative

Gem Hub Initiative is a non-governmental organization that seeks to address and meet the human capital development needs in Nigeria and on the Continent of Africa with a focus on young people.

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