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NigeriaDecides2023

75 percent of Nigerian children can’t read simple sentence – UNICEF

Seventy-five percent of children in Nigeria aged 7 to 14 years cannot read a simple sentence or solve a basic math problem, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) have disclosed.

In a statement on Tuesday to mark the International Day of Education and signed by Christian Munduate, the country representative, the agency urged Nigeria to deliver on the commitments made by President Muhammadu Buhari at the UN Secretary General’s Transforming Education Summit in September 2022 to end the global learning crisis.

Munduate also urged Nigeria’s presidential candidates to include investments in education as a top priority in their manifestos, as elections draw near.

She stressed that children in Nigeria must be able to learn to read in the first three years of schooling before they can read to learn.

The country director reiterated UNICEF’s readiness to support the government of transform education and to prevent the loss of hard-fought gains in getting children into school, particularly poor, rural children and girls and ensuring that they remain in school, complete their education and achieve to their full potential.

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According to Munduate UNICEF, with partners, will continue to support federal and state governments to: reduce the number of out-of-school children by providing safe, secure and violence free learning environments both in formal and non-formal settings, engaging communities on the importance of education and providing cash transfers to households and to schools;

Improve learning outcomes by expanding access to quality early childhood education, scaling foundational literacy and numeracy programmes, and offering digital skills and life and employability skills to adolescents to enable the school to work transition;

Increase domestic spending on education to meet the 20 percent global benchmark by 2030 and to address the infrastructure and teaching backlog that are affecting all children’s access to inclusive and quality education.