HCI: World Bank rates Nigeria sixth worst country - PUNCH
BY Ihuoma Chiedozie
Nigerian students are not receiving adequate learning, the World Bank said in its latest Nigeria Economic Update.
The NEU, which was released on December 2, blamed poor quality of education or inadequate learning for Nigeria’s low ranking on the Human Capital Index, according to the World Bank.
Nigeria is currently ranked 0.34, placing the country at 152nd position out of 157 nations on the Human Capital Index.
The ranking means that Nigeria is rated as the sixth worst nation in the world based on the HCI survey. Chad, South Sudan, Niger, Mali and Liberia are the only countries that were rated worse than Nigeria.
“Inadequate learning has contributed to Nigeria’s low rank on the Human Capital Index of 0.34, placing the country at 152 out of 157,” the bank said in a section that focused on ‘Financing Human Capital Development: Basic education’, in the Nigeria Economic Update.
The bank observed that although Nigeria has a longstanding commitment to universal basic education, the number of out-of-school children in the country was among the highest in the world.
The Universal Basic Education Act of 2004 stipulates free, compulsory, and universal basic education for six years of primary school followed by three years of junior secondary school.
However, the bank noted that despite the UBE Act, enrollment in basic education in Nigeria had only gone up slightly in recent years.
In 2017/18, the gross enrolment ratio (GER) in the country was 76.6 per cent in primary and 40.0 in junior secondary.
In addition to the low level of enrolment, Nigeria also has major challenges with the quality of education offered to students, according to the bank.
“As for education quality, the 2013 Service Delivery Indicator survey in four Nigerian states found that only one-third of grade four pupils had acquired minimum numeracy and literacy skills,” the bank said.
Noting that Nigerian students are not receiving adequate learning, the bank said, “Children in Nigeria are expected to complete 8.2 years of education by age 18, slightly above the regional average of 8.1.
“However, because they learn relatively little, their years in school are equivalent to just 3.4 years of learning; 4.7 years are lost because the quality of Nigeria’s education system is poor.
The bank further suggested that the complex nature of public education financing in Nigeria was responsible for the poor quality of learning.
“Local governments, in theory, finance most primary education but in practice have ceded all management responsibilities to the states,” the bank noted.