The world recently celebrated International Education Day with a reminder that without education, the future of a person/nation is bleak. The General Assembly of the United Nations (UNGA) proclaimed January 24 as International Day of Education, in celebration of the role of education for peace and development.

This year’s celebration themed ‘To Invest in People, Prioritize Education’ was dedicated to Afghan women and girls who have been denied the opportunity to receive formal education. The theme reminds us of the need not to miss the opportunity to give a child the invaluable gift of education.

Unfortunately, Nigeria still faces the challenge of large numbers of children out of school, with more than 60 per cent of them reportedly being girls.

Nigeria has a total of 20 million children out of school, the country with the third largest number of children deprived of education, according to United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) statistics.

On the occasion of international education day, stakeholders who spoke to me urged the Nigerian government to prioritize education and make it inclusive for all children.

The Head of Mathematics (HOD) at an Abuja-based school, Isaac Moji, said education is a public responsibility and all children should be educated.

He urged the government to fulfill its commitment to prioritize investment in education and educational transformation.

“It is necessary that all children have the right to an equitable and inclusive education. Unfortunately, this right is not a reality for all children in Nigeria, as many of them do not attend school.

Governments have been advised to ensure adequate funding and implement policies to tailor learning to the unique abilities and needs of students at all levels.

The National Seadog Association (NAS), Pyrate Confraternity (Lekki-Lagos chapter), accused education sector stakeholders, the Nigerian government, of the need to redouble efforts to ensure quality education is accessible to all everyone, especially for school-age children. .

Eng. Sunny Agbejuasun, who spoke on behalf of the association, as this year’s International Day of Education theme reads: “to invest in people, give priority to education”, the government and stakeholders should be reminded stakeholders that education is essential for the development and progress of any nation.

“Education is a fundamental human right, which is a catalyst for human and social development. As a means of reinforcing this principle, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming January 24 of each year as International Education Day, in celebration of the role of education in peace and development,” he said. .