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Gordon Brown visits Nigeria to help education

AFRICA BOUND: Gordon Brown (PA)

FORMER BRITISH Prime Minister Gordon Brown is arriving in Nigeria today to take part in an education conference aimed at tackling the high rate of Nigerian children not involved in the school system.

According to the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco), Nigeria has 10.5 million children not in full-time education – the highest number recorded by any country in the world.

Brown is currently the United Nations special envoy for global education and is planning to draw up a strategy with domestic officials to help combat the problem.

Led by President Goodluck Jonathan, the education summit will include Nigerian cabinet ministers, states governors and education commissioners.

The event will also have global appeal with organisations such as the US Agency for International Development and Qatar’s Educate a Child programme pledging to ensure that every Nigerian child is in school.

One of the organisers said: “They will discuss how we can allocate new financial support for school buildings, teacher recruitment, teacher training and for new technology with tablets, phones and online school courses.

"This is part of a global initiative to get every boy and girl to school by the end of 2015."

They added: "This movement will build a world where for the first time no boy or girl is denied their right to education.

"In Nigeria, 10m children are yet to go to school because there is a teacher shortage of nearly 1.3m and we are missing 1.2m classrooms, while other problems like child labour, child marriage and trafficking prevent thousands getting to school."

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