After months of public schools being shut down due to the coronavirus, the Nigeria government has finally permitted public schools to resume.
Only 59% of school-age children went to school in October, compared to 74% in January 2019, according to Nigeria’s statistical agency. More than half of those who stayed at home said it was because schools were closed due to virus restrictions. Overall, since the lockdown was imposed in March, 45% of children haven’t received any learning activities at all, the agency said.
The West African nation already has the highest number of children in the world who aren’t in school, more than 10 million.
Reopening schools was a “difficult decision” but “the best decision for our children’s safety and long-term development, especially our most vulnerable children,” Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu said this week.
In Lagos, a city of more than 22 million people, at least 24,000 children haven’t resumed their education since the lockdown.