The new Global Education Monitoring, GEM, a UNESCO affiliate, has said that Nigeria, will achieve universal primary education in 2070.
The report released by Aaron Benavot, Director of the GEM, said “On current trends, universal primary education in sub-Saharan Africa will be achieved in 2080; universal lower secondary completion in 2089; and universal upper secondary completion in 2099.
“This would leave the region 70 years late for the 2030 SDG deadline. Nigeria, on current trends, will achieve universal primary education in 2070, universal lower secondary education 2080 and universal upper secondary education in the next century.”
It said that the statistics should urge countries to propel progress towards all global goals outlined in the new 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, SDGs.
Reacting to report titled Education for People and Planet, UNESCO’s Director-General, Irina Bokova, said “A fundamental change is needed in the way we think about education’s role in global development, because it has a catalytic impact on the well-being of individuals and the future of our planet”.
“Now, more than ever, education has a responsibility to be in gear with 21st century challenges and aspirations, and foster the right type of values and skills that will lead to sustainable and inclusive growth, and peaceful living together.”
The report shows 40% of the global population are taught in a language they don’t understand.
“Sub-Saharan African houses the most countries with the highest degree of linguistic diversity.
“Education systems need to ensure they are giving people vital skills and knowledge that can support the transition to greener industries, and find new solutions for environmental problems. Only 6% of adults in the poorest countries have ever attended literacy programmes. In Nigeria, less than 10% of the poorest rural females can read.
“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. We need our schools and lifelong learning programmes to focus on economic, environmental and social perspectives that help nurture empowered, critical, mindful and competent citizens.
“There is also an urgent need for education systems to impart higher skills aligned with the needs of growing economies, where job skill sets are fast changing, many being automated. On current trends, by 2020, there will be 45 million too few workers with tertiary education relative to demand.
“The calls for education ministers and other education actors to work in collaboration with other sectors. It lists various benefits that could come from this way of working, including: ‘Educating mothers to lower secondary education in sub-Saharan Africa by 2030 could prevent 3.5 million child deaths between 2050-60.’
“Health interventions could be delivered through schools: by one estimation, delivering simple treatments such as micro nutrient pills through schools is one tenth of the cost of doing it through mobile health units.
“Farmer field schools could help increase crop yields by 12% leading to sustainable increases in food production.
“Four years more in school in Nigeria reduced fertility rates by one birth per young girl.”