Over 10 million school-age children in Nigeria have no access to functional early childhood care and education.

It is a figure that highlights the need for the repositioning of early childhood education.

An educationist, Professor Adekunle Olorundare, says there are good policies in Nigeria that could cater for the education of children, but laments that the problem is in the implementation of policies.

Presenting a paper during the Annual Conference of the Early Childhood Association of Nigeria (ECAN) held in Ilorin on Tuesday, Professor Olorundare asked the Nigerian government to urgently end the trend.

The paper entitled: “Repositioning Early Childhood Education in Nigeria for Global Competitiveness: A Peek into Global Best Practice” highlighted that “enrolment at primary schools has increased in the recent years, with a net attendance placed at 70 per cent.

“However, Nigeria is reported to have the world’s highest number of out-of-school children, conservatively put at 10.5 million,” he stated.

According to him, early childhood education is of great value to all children and should be available to all.

“Every child, including children from deprived socioeconomic backgrounds and other disadvantaged groups, should have access to early education services of good quality.

‘‘Nigerian children cannot and must not be denied the benefits of this fundamental right,’’ he said.

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