‘Despite free education, ironically Nigeria has high number of out-of-school children’

Free Education

A Professor of Education Management at the University of Lagos, Prof Stephen Oyebade has said it is ironical that, despite the fact that Nigeria has adopted free education policy for many years, the country is grappling with high number of Out-of-School children.


Speaking at a training for implementers of basic education in Lagos by Human Development Initiatives (HDI) themed ‘Implementing Quality Basic Education in a Post COVID-19 Nigeria’, Oyebade said there are policy provisions in the management, funding, supervision, evaluation of universal basic education, but how far has the country gone in the implementation of the Universal Basic Education (UBE) Act?.

“We x-rayed the system so far and noticed that there were a lot of challenges, one of which is accountability. We do not have enough data in the education system and we should start gathering data to know what it takes to give education to the young ones.

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“We want to know how many children are supposed to be in school, as we have the largest population of out-of-school in the world in a country that has been frustrating free education, since the 50s. How did that come? We need to fund education appropriately.” Oyebade maintained that the implication of not having appropriate data would be like groping in the dark.

“We do not know how many children are out-of-school; we do not know where they are. If we find them, how do we bring them in? Where are the facilities to accommodate them? We would continue to roll in ignorance. We have so many institutions, yet our population is not educated,” he said.

Executive Director, HDI, Mrs. Olufunso Owasanoye stated that the unprecedented disruption COVID-19 caused made it imperative to further support the handlers of basic education through training to sustain the tempo in achieving quality basic education in a post-COVID-19 Nigeria.

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