Nigeria to achieve universal pry education by 2070 —UNESCO report
THE new Global Education Monitoring (GEM) report
released by the United Nations Educational Scientific and
Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has predicted that the
country, going by current trends, will only achieve its
universal primary education by 2070.
The report also confirmed that inequalities are high in
Nigeria as richest males had over 12 years more education
to their name than the poorest females.
The report also stated that universal lower secondary
education is to be achieved by 2080 while achieving
universal upper secondary education would take place in
the next century.
Titled, “Education for people and planet,” the report
showed that less than 10 per cent of the poorest rural
females in the country can read where only six per cent
were enrolled in tertiary education in 2014.
The report on Nigeria came even as the UNESCO insisted
that there was potential for education to propel progress
towards all global goals outlined in the new 2030 Agenda
for Sustainable Development (SDGs), noting, however, that
education needed a major transformation to fulfill the
potential and meet the current challenges facing humanity
and the planet.
Emphasising an urgent need for progress in education to
speed up, the report noted that based on the current
trends, universal primary education in sub-Saharan Africa
will be achieved by 2080, universal lower secondary
completion by 2089, and universal upper secondary
completion by 2099, leaving the region 70 years late for
the 2030 SDG deadline.
The report showed the need for education systems to step
up attention to environmental concerns and lamented that
despite being one of the regions most affected by the
effects of environmental change, sub-Saharan Africa has
far fewer mentions of sustainable development in its
curricula in comparison with Latin America, Europe and
The report emphasised that the new global development
agenda called for education ministers and other education
actors, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa, to work in
collaboration with other sectors to, among other things,
prevent 3.5 million child deaths between 2050 and 60 by
educating mothers up to lower secondary education by
It lamented that up to 40 per cent of the global population
were taught in a language they did not understand with
Sub-Saharan African housing the most countries with the
highest degree of linguistic diversity.
The report called for the kind of education systems that
protected minority cultures and their associated languages,
and which contained vital information about the
functioning of ecosystems.
UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova, while
commenting on the report, stated that a fundamental
change was needed in the way countries thought about
education’s role in global development, as it had a
catalytic impact on the well-being of individuals and the
future of the planet.
“Now, more than ever, education has a responsibility to
be in gear with 21st century challenges and aspirations,
and foster the right types of values and skills that will lead
to sustainable and inclusive growth, and peaceful living
together,” Bokova said.
In his contribution, Aaron Benavot, who is Director of the
GEM Report, said that there was need for schools and
lifelong learning programmes to focus on economic,
environmental and social perspectives.
He said, “If we want a greener planet, and sustainable
futures for all, we must ask more from our education
systems than just a transfer of knowledge.”