10.5 million Nigeria children aged 6-14 do not attend any primary school, according to UNICEF. And many attend schools in unbearable conditions -pupils sitting under trees outside the school building because of lack of classrooms. In some worrisome cases, you see 100 pupils per teacher.
Many children do not attend school because their labour is needed to help at home or bring additional income into the family. Also many families cannot afford the cost of sending their children to school, such as fees, uniform, textbooks, writing materials, etc…
Even when children enrol in schools, many do not complete the primary education, they drop out of school. Thus, making only few transit to junior secondary schools. Reasons for this low completion rate include child labour, economic hardship, and early marriage for girls which has become common in various parts of the country.
In a chat with some young children who were seen hawking on the street during school hours, they revealed to Encomium.ng their pains and reasons why they were not in school. And some accept thats the only way they can make a living.
Omolara Obatayo 15-
I really wish to be in school, but help isn’t coming from anyone, I feel neglected. I have to sell pure water daily to satisfy my step mum, because this is where my food comes from. If I don’t meet my target I won’t eat.
Samuel Okelana 14_
I help my mum with her business, she sells bread across the road. I help her by hawking around to improve her sales, I know this is where my daily food comes from. I used to go to school but my mum was unable to pay my fees. Since last year, I have been doing this to help her out, hoping that one day I will go back to school and change the world around me.
Fred Chinedu 17
I was in SS1 before dropping out to start this horrible business. I sell Soft drinks in Lagos traffic as you can see, I have to do this to raise some amount for my GCE. I just believe God will surely provide for the needy.
– Oluwafemi Soewu