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No, #Nigeria doesn’t have the world’s most out-of-school children, BBC Africa

This article is more than 6 years old

Why does Nigeria have the highest number of children out-of-school in the world?

BBC Africa asked this question on Twitter to introduce what it said was an investigation into the issue.

In a clip, the broadcaster said that Nigeria’s government had recently acknowledged for the first time that the country has the highest number of children out of school in the world, numbering an estimated 10.5 million.


Far lower than India

Africa Check previously established that the 10.5 million figure emanated from a country brief by Unicef, the UN agency that focuses on children’s well-being.

Unicef Nigeria told Africa Check they had sourced it from UNESCO’s Institute for Statistics database, which used data from 2010.

(Note: The Institute for Statistics is the official data agency of the United Nation’s Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, providing internationally-comparable data on education.)

But the Institute for Statistics said it had revised this figure to 8.7 million in 2014, following the availability of new population estimates. This number was of children of official primary school going age, which the UN defines as between 6 to 11 years.

This is far lower than in India, where 60 million children between 6 and 18 years were out-of-school in 2013. Pakistan followed with 22.5 million children of all ages being out of school, while Bangladesh was third with 10 million.

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