Written by Godfrey AKON

Benue has highest JSS dropouts in north central- report

A National Personnel Audit, NPA, report released by the Universal Basic Education Commission, UBEC, has identified Benue state with the highest number of school dropouts at Junior Secondary School, JSS, level in the north central.

The NPA report which was disseminated last week in Abuja, indicated that Benue with a JSS enrolment of 73,066 and 91,419 students in public and private JSS respectively, had a dropout rate of 3.84 per cent and 3.58 per cent respectively.

Abuja was placed second in the dropout index with an enrolment totalling 133,253 students in public JSS and 15,402 students in private JSS; but 2.08 and 1.75 per cent of public and private JSS respectively drop out before reaching Senior Secondary, SS, classes.

The audit, which was carried out in 2018 also showed that the national dropout rate in 2018 was 1.53 percent in public schools and 1.38 per cent in private ones, while the dropout rate of females was 1.54 per cent, slightly higher than that of males which was 1.52.

It noted that while in private schools the dropout rate for males was 1.39, it was slightly higher than that of females which was 1.38 per cent.

“The zonal drop-out rate in public schools varied between 2.7 percent in the South-West to 1.0 percent in the North-West. With respect to private schools, the drop-out rate varied, i.e. from 2.0 percent in the North-Central to 0.9 percent in the North-West zone.

“The transition rate in the entire primary school system was 93.7 percent. However, in public primary schools, it was lower than in the private schools, i.e. 83.3 and 149.2 percent respectively. There were variations in transition by zones and states,” the report stated.

The report further noted that the NPA captured 5,189,093 learners enrolled in public junior secondary schools. With a Gender Parity Index of 0.91, there were more male learners than females in these Schools. Urban schools accounted for 52.3 percent of the enrolment, while rural schools accounted for the remaining 47.7 percent.

“In private junior secondary schools there were 1,652,860 learners (49.8 percent males and 50.2 percent females) with a near gender parity in enrolment. There were also more learners in urban JSS than in rural ones.

“Most of the learners were within the normal age range. The North-West with 1,444,204 learners had the largest enrolment, while the North-East had the lowest (634,289) in public junior secondary schools. The South-West had the largest enrolment (391,673), while the North-East (140,040) had the least in private JSS.

“Among the states, Kano with 402,941 learners had the largest enrolment, while Bayelsa with 32,790 learners had the least in public junior secondary schools. As for the private junior secondary schools, Lagos had the largest enrolment (147,011), while Jigawa had the least (3,885) respectively,” it said.

On the issue of access to basic education, the 2018 NPA estimates showed that 10,193,918 primary age children were not in school, adding that figure corresponds to about 25 of school age children in the country.

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