Closing the school attendance gap in rural communities in Nigeria: school leadership and multi-actor approach in community engagement

  • Innocent Uche Anazia Queen's University Belfast
Keywords: School Leadership, Multi-actor Approach, Rurality, School Attendance, Attendance Gap, Community Engagement


It is widely accepted that education is paramount to national transformation and to ending the decadeslong humanitarian crisis in Nigeria and other regions of Africa.Children without access to school education face a future without hope, where their potential will remain unfulfilled (UNICEF, 2019). Therefore, forNigeria to make progress the high number of children not engaging with education or leaving school before developing literacy skills in rural areas of Nigeria needs to be addressed. Although in recent times, the Nigerian government hasattempted to explore the challenges associated with non-attendance, these efforts did not translate into higher numbers of children attending school. Whereas the government is often looked upon to address this issue, there has been limited focus on the important part that rural school leaders in Nigeria can play in addressing this challenge. Arguing for the importance of rural school leaders in building effective engagements with their communities, this paper proposes a multi-actorapproach as a model they could use to both engage communities in tackling the challenges and diminish school attrition rates.