Cover Stories

Poverty forces children out of school

-11 of the 10.5 million out of school children explain their predicaments


The United Nation (UN) stated in a report that, 57 million children are out of school globally, but Nigeria dominated with the highest number of out of school children in the world. 10.5 million children in Nigeria are out of school. So, Nigeria accounts for 20 percent out of school children in the world.

All educated children have a reason to dream and aspire for a better future which they desire. They have hope and dream of these things because they knew education can make it happen. On the other hand, what will be the hope of the 10.5 million children who are not educated? Some of them really aspire to be in classroom to study, but help isn’t coming. They become helpless and ignorant about the value of being educated.

Sokoto state is said to have the highest number of children who are out of school. Majority of them from the rural areas do not have access to basic education which is essential for their future. Those in the urban centres have advantages to education compared to children living in rural areas, as they have easy access to education and other life changing facilities.

Despite the effort of the government to make education free and conducive for children, many families cannot afford the associated cost of sending their children to school as the distance to the nearest school is a major hindrance, payment of fees, writing materials, uniforms, textbooks and others can’t be afforded by many parents.

In a chat with some young children who were seen roaming the street during school hours, they revealed to ENCOMIUM Weekly their pains and reasons why they were not in school. Meanwhile, some of the children have the dream.


KOLAWOLE SAMSON (12 years) – My life is at risk. I feel very sad seeing my friends dressing up for school every morning while I will be preparing to hawk goods. My biggest wish is to become a journalist so that I can make impact in the world around me. But the help isn’t coming. I was in basic 5 when I was sent out of school all because my mom can’t afford the fee. My mom objected that she can’t enroll me in a public school, she promised to send in back to school when we raise enough money. I’m still waiting for this promise to turn a reality. I’m helpless.


MORENIKEJI SAMUEL (14 years) – I live here in Lagos with my dad, he’s always busy with his work. He doesn’t really know the value of going to school, that’s why he never bother to sponsored me. I have to find a means of earning a daily job, that’s why you see me selling sachet water on Lagos roads. I didn’t just start the business alone, I have an older uncle who introduced me to this ugly business. But if I see someone to sponsor my education, I’m willing to study.


FAUSAT KIKELOMO (15 years) – My mom lives in Ibadan, Oyo State, I came to Lagos last year with my aunt. We didn’t have an apartment of our own where we live, we stay in a church down the road. I was a JSS 1 student of one government school in Oyo State. But my family cannot afford the cost of sending to me to school. I have to follow my sister to Lagos to learn how to sew. It’s still my wish to go back to school.


GBADEBO FOLA (14 years) – I’m still in secondary school, I will be going to school after helping my step mom with her business. I have to hawk vegetables every morning before school. I will get money to take to school from the sales I make. Most times I get to school at 11 am or 12 noon. My teachers will scold me thinking I’m lazy. I only wish they understand my pain.


Street kid 1-Fullscreen capture 4222016 123641 PMCHUKWUDI CALEB (13 years) – My parents really wish to sponsor my education but they are not just capable enough to sponsor four kids. I have my siblings; my two younger sisters are in school. I have to withdraw for them to be educated. I wish we have capable parents to give us the best education.


YUSUF ALABA (15 years) – After my primary education, I lost my dad, he used to be the one who financed my education. Now that he’s no more, I have been facing the challenges with my mom. My mom doesn’t earn enough to finance my education. She sells bread. I have been helping her with this business since the death of my dad. I want to beg the government to assist the less privileged. It’s our wish to be educated but no help. The rich should stretch helping hands to the poor, with that we can make a better Nigeria.


FALI OMOLABAKE (16 years) – I decided not to go to school anymore because I didn’t understand what they are doing there. My dad enrolled me into a government school, I was in JSS 1 before I stopped. I feel lost anytime I’m in class. My basic primary education foundation wasn’t solid, this has affected me. I don’t think I will go back to school.


ISHOLA OLAYEMI (16 years) – I left school last year when I got pregnant and was trying to terminate it. I was confused when I got pregnant. I didn’t want to stop school and that was why I tried to abort it. Along the line, my parents got to know about it, though I was able to abort it. My dad then decided that he cannot be wasting money on someone that is not serious. Since then, I’ve been following my mom to her shop where she sells pepper but people are still begging him on my behalf so I can go back to school. I regret disappointing my parents.


OMOLARA ADEWALE (11 years) – My parents brought me to this market to work for a trader here. My main duty here is to assist her with the sales and watch over every thing in her shop. My parents can’t send me to school, I have never been there. I feel deprived of some rights seeing my mates going to school. I have no option, I have to accept this is where I belong.


OKEZIE PRECIOUS (17 years) – I used to stay with my parents in Port Harcourt. I lost my dad in February 2013, and later in July that same year, I lost my mom. It was then I was brought to stay with my uncle in Lagos together with my three younger ones. My uncle said he could only afford to send two of my younger ones to school. Later last year, he took me to a technician to learn aluminum work. That is why I couldn’t go to school.


DAWODU TOYIN (17 years) – I was actually going to a government school before I dropped out when I failed three times. I was advised to withdraw when the school authority said I could not repeat the same class for the third time. I dropped out in Ss2.



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