By Wahab Akanji, Abuja
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has stated that Nigeria will achieve the Universal Primary Education goal in 2070, 60 years behind the global target of 2030.
According to the agency’s recent Global Education Monitoring (GEM) report titled “Education for people and planet”, Nigeria would achieve the goal 10 years earlier than the estimate for Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).
It added that the region is estimated to achieve universal lower secondary completion in 2089; and universal upper secondary completion in 2099.
UNESCO stated that only six per cent of Nigerians were enrolled in tertiary education in 2014 , falling below the eight per cent average in SSA, and far below the average for South and West Asia (23 per cent); and globally (34 per cent).
The report stated that “Inequalities in Nigeria are also high according to the report – with the richest males getting above 12 years education than the poorest females. Less than 10 per cent of the poorest rural-based females in Nigeria are literate.
“Compared to the rest of the world, enlightenment about climate change issues and its impact on the environment is also low in SSA. The report noted that though less than half of countries worldwide teach climate change in their curricula, the numbers are even smaller in the SSA.
“To achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) faster than present estimates, UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova, called for changes in the education systems of Nigeria and the Sub-Saharan region.”
She 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 types of values and skills that will lead to sustainable and inclusive growth, and peaceful living together.”