School Enrollment In Nasarawa Drops

Despite the sing-song of the Nasarawa State government on its efforts to improve the level of primary education in the state, primary school enrollment may be dropping by the day.

In a Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS 4) Report recently released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), school enrollment in Nasarawa was placed at 35.5%; which is below average.

It has been gathered that with the increased insecurity and closure of most primary schools in the southern senatorial district of the state in the last two years, the level of enrollment and literacy level has drastically dropped.

Equally, the literacy level of children between 36 and 59 months (ages 3 to about 5 years) which was placed at 19.7% in the survey have also dropped drastically.

The situation is attributed to closure of schools and other educational facilities that have been non-existent for some time in most of the troubled spots in the state.

The Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (PME) specialist, UNICEF “D” Field office, Bauchi, Dr. Danjuma El Mustapha who spoke at a media meeting to discuss MICS 4, noted that any situation that is below average calls for serious concern among stakeholders.

The expert, who was speaking at the meeting organised for media practitioners to dissect the MICS 4 Report, noted that the essence is also to impart media partners with knowledge on the status of indicators, encourage use by government and also support evidence-based reporting by the media.

However while noting that most state governments have insisted that the data generated by UNICEF and other agencies were incorrect, the UNICEF Communication Specialist, Samuel Kaalu said the states do not have any data to substantiate their claims either.

Kaalu wondered why the states could not generate their own data even as he said that data-driven reports could not be disputed.

“Data makes an opinion become fact. Opinions are what someone thinks; facts are statements backed with evidence. News are (supposed to be) based on facts,” adding that “Data gives credibility to a story; it gives it worth.”

MICS is conducted by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in collaboration with UNICEF and other donors among them WHO, DFID, World Bank.

Nigeria has taken part in four rounds of MICS, that is in 1995, 1999, 2007 and 2011.

The survey is conducted in 20 households (HHs) per EA (Enumeration Area), 800 HAs per state and 29, 600 HHs nationwide.

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