Alex Enumah in Abuja
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has decried the lack of an inclusive and functional education system for Nigerian children both at the federal and state levels.
The acting Executive Secretary of the commission, Tony Ojukwu, who expressed the dismay, said in spite of all existing legal frameworks and commitments put in place to advance education, there is still a huge gap in its accessibility.
Ojukwu made this known at a strategy meeting, organised by the Network of National Human Rights Institutions in West Africa (NNHRI-WA) on promoting the right to education.
“One thing resonates in all the literature on the right to education, which is the fact that there is need for it to be accessible to all without any form of discrimination.
“There is need for an inclusive and functional education system because most of the out-of-school children are children of nomadic groups, orphans, girls and children of poor parents, who lack economic prosperity.”
He identified factors such as strikes by teachers and students, poor quality of teachers, poor learning conditions, high cost of education, low enrolment and drop out due to early marriage or poverty as obstacles to the development of education in the country.
He therefore appealed to government and stakeholders to enforce existing laws that will provide free and quality education for all Nigerian children.
In her remarks, the acting Executive Secretary of NNHRI-WA, Mrs. Yemisi Akhile reminded participants that the right to education is an alienable right which should be enjoyed by all as enshrined in major international human rights instruments.
She stressed that the importance of education in the sub region can never be overemphasized, adding that this has propelled the ECOWAS Commission to take a decision on promoting the right to education towards the attainment of ECOWAS vision 2020.
Also speaking, the representative of UNESCO Regional Office, Ydo Yao said statistics revealed that 263 million children and young people are out of school in the sub region and 617 million children and adolescents worldwide do not meet the minimum threshold for literacy and mathematics.