Nigeria accounts for 10.5 million of the 61 million "out of school" children worldwide, Education Minister Prof. Ruqayytu Rufai has said.
Speaking to the Western Europe Correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria at the World Education Forum on Wednesday in London, Rufai said Pakistan was next to Nigeria with five million children of school age out of school.
The Minister, who expressed concern over the figure, said that the government was focusing on two strategic goals to bridge the access gap.
These two goals are "access and quality of curricula", as the government strives to address challenges such as those pertaining to regional and cultural issues, the challenges for the girl child, and Almajiri education as well as boy-child drop out.
Rufai noted that in terms of quality, attention would also be paid to the development and rehabilitation of infrastructure as well as review of curricula at all levels to meet national objectives.
While emphasising the need for teacher training and recruitment, the Minister noted that teachers could also learn from their students in view of the new screen technology trend where people study online.
She said that globally teachers are critical to educational development and, therefore require capacity building to equip them with the necessary tool for teaching. "The issue of quality is our major concern in Nigeria. We are also looking at the recruitment process too, so that quality teachers are recruited into the system. The focus of our government in education is the same focus of this forum," she added.
NAN recalls that 40,000 Nigerian teachers were trained nationwide in 2012. Rufai, who was a guest speaker at the Forum, in her presentation, listed the provision of instructural materials to basic education students and integration of ICT into the educaton system among steps taken to ensure quality education.