North still lag­ging be­hind in Western ed­u­ca­tion – Sur­vey

Daily Trust - - EDUCATION -

Ac­cord­ing to the Mul­ti­ple In­di­ca­tor Clus­ter Sur­vey (MICS 4) sum­mary re­port that was re­cently re­leased, the North West and North East zones of Nigeria have very low lit­er­acy rates of 32 and 37 per­cents re­spec­tively as against higher rate of at least 89 per­cent in each of zones in the South. Also, school at­ten­dance is still low in the coun­try par­tic­u­larly among sec­ondary school age chil­dren.

This alarm­ing rev­e­la­tion has fur­ther con­firmed the back­ward­ness of the North in the pur­suit of Western ed­u­ca­tion com­pared to the south­ern part of the coun­try. The MICS was car­ried out in 2011 and, given the in­creas­ing in­sur­gency in the re­gion, the worst is yet to be seen as the na­tion pre­pares for an­other round of MICS this year. MICS is con­ducted ev­ery three years with Nigeria hav­ing al­ready taken part in four rounds, in 1995, 1999, 2007 and 2011.

The grow­ing in­sur­gency in the re­gion has se­ri­ously af­fected teach­ing and learn­ing as close to 800 class­rooms have been lost with more stu­dents hav­ing classes un­der trees and makeshift canopies just as teach­ers are re­lo­cat­ing to safer places in fear for their lives. This also por­tends great dan­ger for the re­gion as re­gards Western ed­u­ca­tion pur­suit.

With ab­duc­tion of about 200 stu­dents of GGSS, Chi­bok in Borno State al­legedly by the in­sur­gents on Mon­day night, no one can as­ser­tain the fate of the re­gion as far as pur­suit of Western ed­u­ca­tion is con­cerned.

MICS are sur­vey pro­grammes de­vel­oped by the United Na­tions Chil­dren’s Fund to pro­vide in­ter­na­tion­ally com­pa­ra­ble, sta­tis­ti­cally rig­or­ous data on the sit­u­a­tion of chil­dren and women.

In Nigeria, the sur­veys were car­ried out by the Na­tional Bureau of Sta­tis­tics with the sup­port and as­sis­tance of UNICEF and other de­vel­op­ment part­ners.

Over­all, in Nigeria, about 66 per­cent of young women aged 15-24 years are lit­er­ate. The lit­er­acy level of women liv­ing in the poor­est house­holds is as low as 22 per­cent which is in con­trast to the lit­er­acy rate of 94 per­cent among women in the rich­est house­holds. Sim­i­larly, the per­cent­age of lit­er­ate women is higher in the ur­ban ar­eas with 86 per­cent while that in the ru­ral ar­eas is 54 per­cent.

How­ever, in­equities ex­ist for pri­mary level as 87 per­cent of ur­ban chil­dren of pri­mary age are in school as against 62 per­cent for the ru­ral. How­ever these in­equities are at their high­est be­tween the poor­est house­holds (34 per­cent of chil­dren are in pri­mary) and the rich­est (94 per­cent of chil­dren at pri­mary school). For in­stance, 70 per­cent of chil­dren of pri­mary school age (6-11 years) are at­tend­ing pri­mary school and only 54 per­cent of chil­dren of sec­ondary school age (1217 years) are at­tend­ing sec­ondary school.

Mother ed­u­ca­tion was also iden­ti­fied as an im­por­tant fac­tor for birth reg­is­tra­tion. In­deed, two thirds of chil­dren un­der 5 whose moth­ers have at least sec­ondary ed­u­ca­tion level have been reg­is­tered at birth com­pared to 21 per­cent of chil­dren whose moth­ers have no ed­u­ca­tion.

At a re­cent sum­mit on ed­u­ca­tion, the na­tion’s adult lit­er­acy rate was put at 61% and a low level of ter­tiary en­rol­ment, which was 10% in 2010 and was iden­ti­fied as a threat to the abil­ity of Nigeria to be­come the 20th largest econ­omy in the world by 2020. This was in com­par­i­son with Kenya that has an adult lit­er­acy rate of 87%, Egypt of 72% and Ghana 67%.

Sim­i­larly, Nige­rian data on school en­rol­ment falls far be­hind that of com­pa­ra­ble African economies and our drop-out rates are higher. Thus, pri­mary school en­rol­ment in Nigeria cur­rently stands at 83%, drop­ping to 44% at the sec­ondary school level and 10% at the ter­tiary level. In Egypt, pri­mary en­rol­ment is 100%, drop­ping to 85% at the sec­ondary level and 30.4% at the ter­tiary level.

The MICS4 data as re­gards to the ed­u­ca­tion sec­tor is to en­able the coun­try to bet­ter mon­i­tor progress to­ward na­tional goals and global com­mit­ments, in­clud­ing 20 of the Mil­len­nium De­vel­op­ment Goals (MDGs) as the tar­get year 2015 ap­proaches.

The sur­vey which is highly com­pa­ra­ble to the De­mo­graphic and Health Sur­vey (DHS) is aimed at pro­vid­ing up-to-date in­for­ma­tion for as­sess­ing the sit­u­a­tion of chil­dren and women in Nigeria; to fur­nish data needed for mon­i­tor­ing progress to­ward goals es­tab­lished in the Mil­len­nium Dec­la­ra­tion and other in­ter­na­tion­ally agreed goals, as a ba­sis for fu­ture ac­tion.

Also, it is to con­trib­ute to the im­prove­ment of data and mon­i­tor­ing sys­tems of coun­tries and strengthen tech­ni­cal ex­per­tise in the de­sign, im­ple­men­ta­tion and anal­y­sis of such sys­tems; as well as gen­er­ate data on the sit­u­a­tion of chil­dren and women, in­clud­ing the iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of vul­ner­a­ble groups and of dis­par­i­ties, to in­form poli­cies and in­ter­ven­tions.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Nigeria

© PressReader. All rights reserved.