Abuja- The UNESCO Education for All Global Monitoring Report (EAGMR) on Monday said that Nigeria accounted for almost a fifth of the worlds out-of-school children.
This is contained in a statement issued by Kate Redman, Communications Specialist, Education for All Global Monitoring Report (EAGMR), of UNESCO in Abuja.
According to the statement, the amount of aid to basic education Nigeria received in 2011 was 28 per cent lower than it received in 2010.
"It is in the top 10 countries for the largest decrease in aid from 2010-2011.”
The statement said a new statistics showed that 57 million children were out of school globally in 2011, which was a drop of two million from 2010.
It said that aid to basic education had decreased for the first time since 2002, adding that the world must move beyond helping children enter school to also ensure that they learnt the basics there.
"Our twin challenge is to get every child in school by understanding and acting on the multiple causes of exclusion and to ensure they learn with qualified teachers in healthy and safe environments.
It called on donors to renew their commitments so that no child was left out of school due to lack of resources.
According to the statement, the new figures released by the UNESCO Institute for Statistics show that countries in sub-Saharan Africa account for more than half of all out-of-school children and have the highest out-of-school rate.
The statement said that more than 20 per cent of African children had never attended primary school or left school without completing primary education.
``By contrast, countries in South and West Asia have made considerable gains over the past two decades, reducing the number of out-of-school children by two-thirds from 38 million in 1999 to 12 million in 2011.
``Children from poor households are three times as likely to be out of school as children from rich households,’’ it said.
It added that girls from poor households in rural areas were among the children facing the greatest barriers to education.
The statement said that although more children now entered school, there had been little progress in reducing the rate at which they left it.
"About 137 million children began primary school in 2011 but at least 34 million are likely to drop out before reaching the last grade.
"This translates into an early school leaving rate of 25 per cent, the same level as in 2000,’’ it said.
According to the statement, Sub-Saharan Africa and South and West Asia have the highest rate of early school leaving.
"New interventions are required to reduce this rate in order to achieve universal primary education and ensure that every child acquires basic literacy and numeric skills,’’ it said.
The statement said that "while out-of-school figures are stagnant, new analysis from the EAGMR reports finds that aid to basic education declined by six per cent between 2010 and 2011.’’
It also noted that funds were not directed to the regions and countries most in need, adding that only 1.9 billion dollars (about N296.4bn) was allocated to low income countries in 2011.
The report, however, urged donors to prioritise countries and regions most in need as sub-Saharan African accounted for more than half of out-of-school children.