50 million Nigerian children are out of school, ranks below Ghana, Rwanda ~IMF
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Tuesday said that nearly 50 million Nigerian children and youth are not receiving any formal education, saying the country rank below Ghana, Rwanda and Tanzania in literacy level.
In its latest technical assistance report on Nigeria, the Fund said the country “ranks low in quality measures among low-income countries. For example, only 20 percent of pupils that complete primary school can read a three-sentence passage fluently or with little help, compared with 50 percent in Ghana and 80 percent Rwanda and Tanzania.
According to the report, among 44 economies in Africa, Nigeria is in 39th place in harmonized test scores and “this lower quality is equivalent to losing about four years of schooling,” the IMF said.
To address these challenges and make meaningful progress, the IMF said Nigeria would need substantial additional resources.
The Fund said for the country to match the strong performers among its peers, Nigeria would need to increase by 7.7 percentage points of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2030.
The IMF said Nigeria will need to boost enrollment, increase the share of capital in total spending, reduce class size, and raise teacher wages.
The current spending of about 1.6 percent of the GDP, combined spending on education by the public and private sectors is relatively low and insufficient to deliver universal and high-quality education, the IMF said.
To reverse the poor trend in the country’s educational sector, the Fund wants Nigeria to increasing enrollment rates, improve infrastructure, increasing the quantity and quality of teachers, and expand spending on the sector.
“One priority is to increase enrollment rates. We estimate that assuming the current level of spending per student, this increase in enrollment would require additional spending of one percentage points of GDP.
“This policy could be accompanied by larger commitments to school infrastructure, which would demand an additional 0.7 percentage points of GDP in spending. Smaller class sizes would require an additional 2.3 percentage points of GDP,” the IMF report stated.#GFD