• TRUE! Oxford University Press has made some books free for all online

    Oxford University Press has made all of their CSEC and CAPE textbooks freely available for online reading!



    A popular claim was circulated on social media including Facebook and WhatsApp claiming Oxford University Press has made all of their Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) and Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) books free for online reading.

    The post reads: “Oxford University Press has made all of their CSEC and CAPE textbooks freely available for online reading! Share with anyone who may benefit, including friends and family overseas.

    Variations of this claim posted around September 5 and 9 on blog posts here, here and here claim the company made all of their primary & secondary school, O-Level, A-Level, CSEC and CAPE textbooks freely available.


    Checks by Nigerian Tribune showed that the posts link to the Oxford University Press website.

    Upon enquiries by Nigerian Tribune, the Marketing Campaign Manager, Caribbean & Latin America International Education at the Oxford University Press, Muzaffar Bhatti, via e-mail said the books were made available as the COVID-19 crisis hit education establishments in a significant way, thereby causing the closure of schools across the globe and expediting the shift to digital learning.

    He further said: “We looked for ways to support our teachers and learners. It has been clear to us that supporting distanced learning needs is absolutely intrinsic to our mission, and our teams across OUP have been working hard to identify ways to carry on meeting the needs of our customers and learners in this period of disruption.

    “We provided free temporary access to some of our student books and resources via a secure digital platform, which remain available until the 30th September, 2020.  We have been in frequent communication with our customers who have accessed these resources and have our teams available to assist customers in this next transition.”

    When pressed further to ascertain what kind of books are available, Mary Hunter and Lesley Smith of Oxford University Press’ Customer Service unit directed Nigerian Tribune to a post on their website.

    A check on the web page showed that the available books were categorized under five sections ― Primary, Secondary, IB Programme, Cambridge Assessment International, Caribbean.


    Claim that Oxford University Press has made all the CSEC and CAPE textbooks free for all to read online is true. This offer, however, ends September 30, 2020. 

    The researcher produced this fact-check per the Dubawa 2020 Fellowship partnership with The Nigerian Tribune to facilitate the ethos of “truth” in journalism and enhance media literacy in the country.

  • Still no date on school reopening! Government disclaims media reporting

    Reports on various online platforms in Nigeria suggest that the Federal Government has ordered the reopening of schools

    Dr. Sani Aliyu, who was said to have ordered reopening of schools has denied. He only said “Educational Institutions should begin the process of working towards ‘potentially’ reopening within this phase”. There is no fixed school resumption date.

    Full Text

    On Thursday evening, various online media platforms posted a report that suggests that the Federal Government has ordered full reopening of schools.

    Such stories can be found on NaijaNews, ThePunch, and TheCable among others. Most of them have headlines such as ‘FG approves full reopening of schools’, ‘FG okays full reopening of schools’, ‘Buhari Orders Schools To Reopen Fully Nationwide.’

    All these sources have credited the source of their news to the National Coordinator of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Dr Sani Aliyu, who spoke at a briefing at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, on Thursday.

    However, this can be misleading for students who have been home for a long time and are eager to go back to school.

    Dr. Sani Aliyu’s Words

    “For educational institutions which include daycare, primary, secondary and tertiary institutions. Educational institutions should begin the process of working towards potentially reopening within this phase” Aliyu said.

    He added: “However, we strongly recommend that states conduct risk assessment to ensure all schools are at a level of compliance and create a monitoring mechanism to assess, create, and monitor this level of preparedness.

    He further said: “Meanwhile, all daycares and educational institutions are to remain closed to in-classes until this level of risk is assessed. And if there will be opening of schools, it must be staged and preferably carried out in phases to ensure that this does not pose a risk to the general public and in particular to vulnerable groups that might end up getting infected by students going back home.”


    When contacted through a text message, Dr. Aliyu denied ever ordering full reopening of schools. 

    “No that’s not true. We asked all sub nationals – that is States – to do a risk assessment and take a decision based on level of preparedness and Federal Ministry of Education guidelines,” Dr. Aliyu said in a text message to Dubawa’s enquiry.

    He added: “There won’t be a single date for reopening, (it) will be phased out.” 

    The National Coordinator of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Dr Sani Aliyu, never gave orders for schools to reopen as reported by most online platforms.

    He said “Educational Institutions should begin the process of working towards potentially reopening within this phase”

    The word ‘potentially’ is an adverb that means: “possibly true in the future, but not true now”, according to Macmillan Dictionary.

    ‘…remain closed to in-classes’

    Dr. Aliyu’s words further suggest that he did not order the reopening of schools.

    “Meanwhile, all daycares and educational institutions (which, according to him, include daycare, primary, secondary and tertiary institutions) are to remain closed to in-classes until this level of risk is assessed.”

    He added: “if there will be opening of schools, it must be staged and preferably carried out in phases to ensure that this does not pose a risk to the general public and in particular to vulnerable groups that might end up getting infected by students going back home.”


    Dr. Sani Aliyu, who was said to have ordered reopening of schools has denied ever saying that. Instead, he said “Educational Institutions should begin the process of working towards ‘potentially’ reopening within this phase”. There is no fixed time for school resumption yet.

    The researcher produced this fact-check per the Dubawa 2020 Fellowship partnership with Vision FM to facilitate the ethos of “truth” in journalism and enhance media literacy in the country. 

  • Experts sound discordant tunes on Nigeria’s out-of-school children

    On Saturday, Olusegun Obasanjo, former Nigerian President, was widely reported by  Nigerian national newspapers to have declared that in Nigeria, over 14 million children that should be in school were not, and thereby deprived of education. 

    According to a News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) report published on Tribune, Obasanjo made this known in Lagos at the virtual 2020 Fellowship Graduation Ceremony of the second cohort of “Teach for Nigeria Fellows”. 

    “Teach For Nigeria,” a Nigeria-based Non-Government Organization (NGO), graduated 161 fellows who have impacted approximately 9,660 students in 80 schools across Lagos, Ogun, and Kaduna States. 

    The Guardian, Tribune, TheNation, Dailytrust, Herald, Punch,  and many other local papers reported the news.

    Also, Ahmad Lawan, President of the Senate, while giving a speech in Abuja on July 23, 2020, at the launch of Senator Sadiq Suleiman Umar’s, “How I Became A Senator in 30 Days,” claimed that Nigeria has 14 million children out of school.

    This claim by the duo of the former president, Olusegun Obasanjo, and the incumbent Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, further incensed the recurring debate on the number of out-of-school children in the country amidst government repeated strategy to quell the widening gap.

    The Spate of many data

    According to the United Nations, out-of-school children are defined as those kids who are yet to be enrolled in any formal education excluding pre-primary education. The age range for out-of-school children is 6-11 years.

    According to UNICEF, even though primary education is officially free and compulsory, about 10.5 million of the country’s children aged 5-14 years are not in school. Only 61 per cent of children between 6 and 11 years of age regularly attend primary school and only 35.6 per cent of children aged 36-59 months receive early childhood education.

    UNICEF added that one in every five of the world’s out-of-school children is in Nigeria. The country currently harbours about 13 million – the highest in the world.

    Also, on October 4, 2018, the Executive Secretary, Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), Ahmed Boboyi, claimed that the figure of out-of-school children in Nigeria rose from 10.5 million to 13.2 million.

    The Executive Secretary, who was represented by the Director of Social Mobilisation, Bello Kaigara, at the Northern Nigerian Traditional Rulers Conference on Out-of-School Children pre-conference briefing in Abuja, quoted the Nigeria Demographic Health Survey (NDHS), which, he said, was conducted in 2015 by the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) and the Nigerian government.

    “If you add the number of children that have been displaced and the increasing number of birth, you find out that our source in DHS conducted by UNICEF published in 2015 reveals the number of out of school children increased to 13.2 million. Over the last few years, Nigeria has been besieged by Boko Haram and lots of children have been put out of school” Boboyi claimed.

    In another contrasting figure, the Universal Basic Education Commission report in 2018 released on December 17, 2019, titled “Digest of Basic Education Statistics for Public and Private Schools in Nigeria”, the whole of the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) of Nigeria have only 10,193,918 (10.1million) out-of-School-children.

    This, he said, at a press conference in Abuja, was part of the 2018/2019 Annual School Census, which was carried out by the Universal Basic Education Commission, National Population Commission, National Bureau of Statistics and other stakeholders.

    As COVID-19 pandemic continues to hold its grip across the globe, about 7 million students from primary up to secondary education could drop out owing to the income shock of novel Coronavirus alone, a report by World Bank Group Education revealed.

    The report, using data from 157 countries, revealed that both the global level of schooling as well as learning will fall. With this projection, the future is even bleaker for children of school age in these agriculture communities who are already counting their losses due to the bad roads.

    According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS)’s summary report, 2010 – 2012 released in February 2015,  as of 2010, close to 3 million children aged 6 to 14 years had never attended any school in Nigeria. This represents 8.1% of the population of children within that age group. Also, during the same period, about a million children aged 6 to 14 years dropped out of school. This represents 3.2% of the population of children in that age group that never attended school in Nigeria.

    Furthermore, there are regional variations as the percentage of the population that attended schools in the year 2010 was higher in urban areas (91.4%) than in rural areas with 80.7%. Also, gender variation still exists in school attendance in Nigeria. In the aforementioned year, females’ attendance stood at 81.2%, lower than that of males’ with 88.1%. 

    Does Nigeria have no data bank on Out-of-school-Children? 

    The ICIR contacted experts in the field of data on the clash of figures and unavailability of unified data on the total number of out-of-school children in Nigeria.

    Atiku Samuel, a data expert and senior project Officer (Technical Coordination) at the International Budget Partnership (IBP), explained to The ICIR that with the varying data on Out-of-school children in Nigeria, “I don’t think we have reliable statistics that tell us the total number of out of school children”.

    The data expert added that across the years, people drop out of school because of many reasons. And again, there are private schools that are not registered, even some children in private school could actually be categorised as out of school. 

    “First, you look at deductions, you look at the total pupil in JSS3, the ministry of Education has a number of people in JSS3, by the time you compare it with people entering SS1, you will see the gap, and that’s the basis of the data NBS is pushing out”. 

    “We have a statistical nightmare. I think the matter concludes that we really don’t know for certain how many children are out of school. But based on the estimate done by Unicef,  which is the most recent survey, we are looking at about 10.5million. I think that’s the closest and it is age-specific,” Atiku said. 

    However, Joshua Olufemi, the founder of Dataphyte, in a phone interview maintained that we can not say Nigeria lacks unified data on out-of-school children because, according to him, data managed by UBEC can still be regarded as unified because of its domestic nature.  

    “I can’t categorically say that we don’t have unified data. If we are going to have any unified data on out of school children it should be the one warehoused or managed by the Ministry of Education in conjunction with state ministries of education. 

    “If the UBEC database or ministry of Education exists, that will be the unified one but the most important question is how format and which way and how frequent is that data collected which talks about the method of collection, chronology of collection, resources to collect and also how much the ministry of Education prioritised that data.”


    The barrage of inconsistent data on out-of-school children is fuelling false information and excluding students forced out of school due, in part, to insurgency or those enrolled in unregistered private schools across the country. While UBEC, in partnership with states, seem authoritative in their figures, the absence of a curated national data bank and a rigorous method of data collection are stifling the fight against false information in the country. 

    To escape this data nightmare, the country needs two things: a well defined data collection strategy, and the political will to ensure an  efficient data management. 

    This article is a republished content from ICIR per our Dubawa 2020 Fellowship partnership with newsrooms and media organisations.

  • The Minister of Education got it all wrong to have said one in every three Nigerian is illiterate

    Claim: Representing the Minister of Education, Mr Adamu Adamu, at the 2018 International Literacy Day celebration in Kano, Mr Prinzo James, Deputy Director, Basic and Secondary Education, Ministry of Education, claimed that 60 million Nigerian youths and adults are illiterate; of which 60% are female, and 11 million are out-of school.

    Evidence: Mr Prinzo’s figure contradicts Nigeria’s illiteracy rate reported by the CIA. His figure of 60 million is way more than the 80 million quoted by the Agency. Also, the NBS’s figure of illiterate Nigerians of 70 million is more than Prinzo’s reported figure. In fact, the number of out-of-school children isn’t 11 million as he said; it is 13.2 million according to UNICEF.

    Conclusion: False

    Full Report:
    Were three Nigerians to be sampled at random, at least one of them would – by UNESCO’s definition of illiteracy – be unable to read and write with understanding, a short, simple statement about their everyday life.
    This submission was made in Kano by Mr Prinzo James, the Deputy Director, Basic and Secondary Education, Ministry of Education, on behalf of the Minister of Education, Mr Adamu Adamu, at the 2018 International Literacy Day celebration.
    With an estimated population of 180 million, Mr Prinzo’s estimate of 60 million illiterate youths and adults mean one-third of people who call Nigeria home are illiterate, the report read.
    Mr Prinzo also said that of this figure, females account for nearly 60% of the population, with 11 million children out-of-school.
    Could it be true that 60 million Nigerians are illiterate, of which 60% are female, and 11 million are out-of-school? Dubawa findings show that the figures are off the track!
    Mix up in definition
    Mr Prinzo made reference to “youths and adults”. Therefore, the age bracket he was referring to is not clear-cut.
    For instance, on one hand, the definition of adult as defined by the Consolidated Antiretroviral (ARV) Guidelines of June 2013 of the WHO is: “a person older than 19 years of age unless national law defines a person as being an adult at an earlier age”.
    This implies that, the term “adult”, as used by Prinzo, would include anyone of age 19 and above. Meaning the age bracket under consideration is limitless. The least age limit that can then be considered is Nigeria’s life expectancy – 59.3 years.
    On another hand is the term ‘youth’. The Nigerian National Youth Policy (2009)  defines a youth as persons of ages 18-35 years. Hence, when used together, youths and adults would include anyone of age 18 and above — the likeliest limit being 59 years.
    Linking the definitions to available facts
    With that in mind, the closest backing to Mr Prinzo’s figure (with reference to his youths and adults clause) is contained in the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) World Factbook estimate of 2015. It puts Nigeria’s literacy rate at 59.6% with reference to ages “15 and above”. This means that approximately 26 million of ages 15-24 are literate. Since this age bracket is populated by approximately 40 million people, it, therefore, means an approximate of 14 million are illiterate — in this case, the Deputy Director’s value is still low according to available facts.
    And according to the National Population Commission (NPopC), Nigeria’s current population is approximately 198 million — an increase from 193 million in 2016.
    That is: approximately 118 million Nigerians are literate. Thereby, leaving the remaining 80 million illiterate. This is way more than the 60 million asserted by the Deputy Director.
    Again, in the 2017 report titled “Statistical Report on Women and Men in Nigeria”, published by the National Bureau of Statistics in February 2018, literacy rate among young women and men aged 15-24 years in 2017 is 59.3% and 70.9% respectively. The Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS5) then puts the national literacy rate at 65.1%.
    In absolute terms, this means that 128 million are literate. So, 70 million are illiterate — again, the Deputy Director’s value contradicts available facts.

    Out-of-school children not 11 million
    Out-of-school children, according to the UN, are children aged between 6-11, who are yet to enroll in any formal education — excluding pre-primary education. Although, some of these children might have had pre-primary education but dropped out, or might enroll in the future or never enroll at all.

    So it is these children Mr Prinzo puts their number at 11 million. But then, his figure, once again, isn’t right. There is no available and verifiable source that suggests that Prinzo’s claim is nearly true.

    If he is wrong, what then what would have been the correct figure to quote? 13.2 million? No.

    This figure (13.2 million) has been well reported in the media, and it has been a misconception ever since. This figure had been attributed to Ahmed Boboyi, the Executive Secretary of Universal Board of Education Commission (UBEC) who was represented by the Director of Social Mobilisation, Bello Kaigara, at the Northern Nigerian Traditional Rulers Conference on Out-of-School Children pre-conference briefing in Abuja last year October.

    Kaigara referenced his figure on the Demographic Health Survey (DHS) which he claimed was conducted in 2015 by the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) and the Nigerian government. However, UNICEF has dissociated itself from ever conducting such survey.

    So, even if Prinzo had quoted what is almost becoming common knowledge, he would still have been wrong.

    Nevertheless, here’s what is right:

    The Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS5) of 2016/2017 conducted by the NBS and UNICEF and published in 2018 shows that 9.1 million children are out-of-school.

    Unlike the UN definition of out-of-school children which doesn’t include those in pre-school, this NBS survey defines out-of-school children as those out-of-school and those attending pre-school.

    If this figure is to be reviewed to suit the UN definition of out-of-school children, it simply means Nigeria’s out-of-school children would stand at 7.2 million. Hence, depending on the definition used, 9.1 million or 7.2 million would be correct, and what is even alarming is that it is still the highest anywhere in the world!

    While the definition of  “youths and adults” as stated by Mr Prinzo is not clearcut, his figure contradicts reports from the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Bureau of Statistics; same as his out-of-school children figure of 11 million which cannot be accrued to any verifiable source.

    The CIA figure for illiterate Nigerians aged 15 and above is 80 million. Likewise, the 2018 publication of the National Bureau of Statistics titled “Statistical Report on Women and Men in Nigeria” puts illiterate Nigerians within ages 15-24 at 14 million.

    Either ways, Prinzo’s 60 million figure is in sharp contrast with the above figures.

    Also, while Prinzo’s 11 million claim of out-of-school children has no verifiable source, the widely reported 13.2 million said to have been made by UNICEF has been denied by the organization. Rather, according to NBS, the nation’s out-of-school children are 9.1 million.

    Mr James Prinzo’s claims are therefore rated false.

  • Are Classrooms Filled With Cows in UNIJOS? #NO

    A not-so popular news media organisation, ScanNews, is on Facebook claiming that senior citizens (cows) have taken over the classrooms of the University of Jos.

    The post on ScanNews via Facebook reads: “This is University of Jos where senior citizens attend classes instead of students.” A picture showing a herd of cows inside a classroom accompany the post.
    However, the school management of UNIJOS have denied the allegation.


    Ordinarily, the term “senior citizens” refer to the aged, retirees or pensioners; people who have attained a certain age on earth. In Nigeria and with reference to the recent happenings, a particular family of animals are referred to as “senior citizens”. They are COWS!


    The attention of management of the University of Jos has been drawn to the post which shows cows in a classroom in the University of Jos. Abdullahi Abdullahi, Principal Assistant Registrar (Information and Publications) of the University of Jos who spoke on behalf of the school management said in a few words “the post is not true. It is just lies”.


    The incident which was posted on July 23 has been refuted by students of the University of Jos. Enoga Aje Oitu, a 400 level student of History and International Studies said “it is a lie please. I was in school that very day around 10am and I left by 1:30pm and I didn’t see cows in any classroom or heard about it”.

    Uche Francis Emmanuel, a 400 level student of Accounting said “I was in school from 7am to 11:30am. Though I saw some cows grazing in the school premises that very day, the issue of cows in the classroom is not true”.


    A genuine picture speaks a thousand words but a fake picture creates confusion and a frenzied atmosphere. Our research team, using Google Reverse Image Search, discovered that the picture was taken in 2017 and used to narrate an incident that occurred in Edo state.

    The story behind the photo, which was reported by various news agencies, alleges that cows invaded Ohovbe Primary school in Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Area of Edo state. The cows disrupted classes and generally sacked pupils and teachers. It was gathered then that the herdsmen have turned the school to a grazing ground and the cows hide inside the classrooms whenever it rains.


    The post is FALSE both in words and in picture! The classrooms at the University of Jos have not been overturned by cows. Although cows were in classrooms in Edo in 2017, cows have not been sighted in the classrooms of the University of Jos as the post alleges.

  • Did UNESCO ever recommend 26 per cent budgetary allocation to education?

    Following President Muhammadu Buhari’s presentation of the N8.6 trillion ‘Budget of Consolidation’ in November to the National Assembly for approval and appropriation, Nigerians have criticised the government for again proposing an allocation to the education sector lower than 26 per cent of national budget ‘recommended’ by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, UNESCO.

    By Azeezat Adedigba

    Many Nigerians argue that the N605.8 billion budgeted for education which stands at 7.04 per cent of the total budget is far below expectation for a country with about 10.5 million out-of-school children, the world’s highest number.

    Prominent in these voices is that of Barau Jibrin, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Tertiary Institutions and TETFUND, who faulted the abysmal allocation of funds to education contrary to the UNESCO standard.

    Mr. Jibrin added that only N4 billion was spent (on education) in 2017.


    Giving a breakdown of the budget for the sector, Minister of Education, Adamu, on November 14, while addressing journalists described as a lie, the common reference in reports that the UNESCO, set a benchmark percentage funding for the education sector in national budgets at 26 per cent.

    Mr. Adamu said the UN agency ”told him recently that it never established the controversial benchmark.”

    “Three weeks ago, I led the Nigerian delegation to UNESCO, and the issue came up, and UNESCO said they never, at any fora and UNDER any circumstances, ever suggested 26 per cent as the optimal level of funding for education for any nation. They said they just don’t know where this lie originated from and why. Therefore, there is not stipulation of 26 per cent for funding of education in the budget by UNESCO,” he said.

    Meanwhile the Minister urged the President Muhammadu Buhari to invest about N1 trillion yearly in education for the nation’s interest.

    Mr Adamu noted that since 1999 when democratic governance returned, the annual budgetary allocation to education in Nigeria has been between four per cent and 10 per cent.

    “None of the E9 (Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Nigeria and Pakistan) or D8 countries (Bangladesh, Egypt, Nigeria, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Pakistan, and Turkey) other than Nigeria, allocates less than 20 per cent of its annual budget to education. Indeed even among sub-Saharan Africa countries, we are trailing far behind smaller and less endowed nations in terms of our investment in education,” Mr. Adamu said.

    Mr. Adamu also noted that the recent government retreat on education, which was attended by Nigerian ministers, ended by asking the president to increase revenue allocation to the education sector to about 15 per cent of the 2018 budget.

    But how accurate is the statement that UNESCO set a (26 per cent) benchmark for education budgets for developing countries?

    Aside the minister of education who said the 26 per cent allocation to education is a lie, the former executive secretary of the National Universities Commission, NUC, Peter Okebukola in an interview with the Guardian on January 14, 2015 also referred to the 26 per cent allocation to education as ‘mythical’.

    Mr. Okebukola, who is also the president of Global University Network for Innovation, GUNI, Africa in the report said the recommendation arose out of a recommendation of a ‘localised’ UNESCO meeting which held in Nigeria sometime in the past.

    “I have had to ask two Directors-General of UNESCO about this figure and they claim not to be aware of it For Nigeria, I believe we should strive for a minimum of 30 per cent for the next 20 years to clear the mess in the sector,” Mr. Okebukola said.


    To authenticate the education minister’s claim and also ascertain if UNESCO made such a recommendation, PREMIUM TIMES contacted the UNESCO regional office in Abuja.

    In its response, the spokespersons of UNESCO, Shola Macaulay and Alice Ateh-Abang, provided some documents titled ‘Education for All, EFA, 2000-2015: achievement and challenges’ and ‘World Education Forum 2015 final report’ for PREMIUM TIMES’ study.

    Mrs. Ateh-Abang said the document established that there was a recommendation close to that effect, noting that, ”15 per cent to 20 per cent is the international benchmark.”

    In the forward page of the EFA global monitoring report signed by the Director General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, it says, “many governments have increased spending but few have prioritised education in national budget.”

    The report, released for 2000-2015 tagged, a Dakar framework for action, called for significant increase in financial commitment by national governments and donors to the education sector to accelerate progress toward the EFA goals.

    According to the document, the Dakar framework recommended governments to take lead in increasing financial commitments to EFA, with the EFA high level steering committee proposing that 15 per cent to 20 per cent of annual budgets be earmarked for education.

    “In 2006, the High level Group on EFA proposed that governments should spend between 4 per cent and 6 per cent of GNP on education and that, within government budgets, between 15 per cent and 20 per cent should be earmarked for education”, Chapter 8, page 241 of the EFA report said.

    The EFA document also indicates that at least 20 per cent of a nation’s national income must be raised in tax revenue for such countries to finance the Millennium Development Goals, MDGs, now Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs.

    “Some countries including Afghanistan, Central African Republic, Nigeria and Pakistan collect 10 per cent or less of their national income in tax,” the report stated.

    Similarly, the World Education Forum 2015 final report which is also referred to as ‘The lncheon Declaration’ in Chapter 4, page 26 titled, ‘Beyond the lncheon: rising up to the challenges of implementation’ said most governments fall short of allocating the recommended international benchmark of 20 per cent of public expenditure needed to bridge education funding gaps.

    UNESCO initiated the EFA global monitoring reports to monitor progress, highlight remaining gaps and provide recommendation for the global sustainable development agenda to follow in 2015.

    Meanwhile, Stephen Onyekwelu, a programme officer in UNESCO’s education sector told PREMIUM TIMES in an interview that UNESCO recommended that government should, ”at least allocate 15 to 20 per cent of their budgets to education.

    “This should not generate controversies at all. It needs to be propagated so that people will not be in doubt. For someone to say that the minister went to the UN house and at the UN house, the UN representative told him there was nothing like that, it is an embarrassment to us. The former DG herself, Irina Bokova endorsed the recommendation,” Mr. Onyekwelu said.

    According to him, UNESCO has had many references to this (recommendation) from ”eminent scholars in the universities and they (UNESCO) never rejected these references.”

    “Timothy Odiaka, (used this) in his article in 2013, when he was talking about university budget and in his reference to the World bank, where 20 countries were used for study and how much they budgeted for education. If those references were not right, UNESCO would have rejected it. An organisation called Budgit information Technology Limited in Abuja also wrote a letter asking for clarification on the 26 per cent recommendation by UNESCO,” Mr Onyekwelu said.

    “I am now telling you this. In 2006, a high level group under EFA met and recommended that 4 per cent to 6 per cent of the GDP or 15 per cent to 20 per cent of their (government) budget should be allocated to education. The authoritative source to confirm this recommendation for education is the EFA global report,” he said.


    Based on the UNESCO’s official records from the EFA global report and World Education Forum 2015, Mr. Adamu’s claim that UNESCO ”NEVER made any recommendations let alone recommend 26 per cent” allocation of a country’s budget to education is not entirely true.

    While the minister is right, going by the documents given to PREMIUM TIMES by the global body, that 26 per cent allocation was never recommended by UNESCO, he failed to give the accurate figure (15-20 per cent) in his submission.

    However, the EFA document has confirmed as inaccurate the pervasive ‘claim’ that UNESCO set a 26 per cent benchmark. The recommendation it actually gave is 15-20 per cent; far higher than the 7 per cent proposed in Nigeria’s 2018 budget.

    Notwithstanding the revelation, the appeals by the participants during the last education retreat to the president to allocate up to 15 per cent of the 2018 budgetary allocation to education is apt and similar to the UNESCO recommendation.

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