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

North America.

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.”