FG unveils 5-year plan to take 10.2 million out-of-school children from streets

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The minister of education, Mr. Adamu Adamu, has come up with a five-year plan to rid the streets of over 10.2 million out-of-school Nigerian children.

 Speaking at the unveiling of ‘Education Sector Short and Medium Term Blueprint/Work Plan on the implementation of Education for Change: A Ministerial Strategic Plan (MSP)’ document presented yesterday at a two-day retreat held in Abuja, the minister said the government had committed N10 billion to take the children from streets during the five-year period.

He said the federal government planned to enroll two million children yearly in the next five years.

According to the document, by the end of 2020, about N3 billion would have been committed by 19 states, “outside the intervention of the federal government to ensure the enrollment of over two million school-age children who are not in school.”

The document also showed that states would commit another N2.4 billion in 2021, N2 billion in 2022, N1.5 billion in 2023 and N1.1 billion in 2024 respectively towards addressing the problem.

The minister decried the high rate of out-of-school children in Nigeria.

He said most of them are almajiris, girls, internally displaced persons, orphans, and vulnerable children.

He listed some of the strategic actions to be carried out within the period to include sensitisation of traditional rulers and religious leaders on the need to inform their communities of the benefits of formal education.

Besides, Adamu said there will be a ‘crackdown’ on substandard primary and secondary schools across the country.

He appealed to lawmakers to increase allocation to the education sector.

Besides, the minister asked state governors to invest more in basic education and charged them to be prompt in providing matching grants to access the federal government’s interventions through the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC).

Also speaking, the permanent secretary, federal ministry of education, Mr. Sonny Echono, urged all the state commissioners at the meeting to take the action plan contained in the document seriously.

He said the 2018 National Personnel Audit of Primary schools in Nigeria showed that 10.2 million children were out of school.

“Following the various federal government intervention programmes aimed at reducing the rate of out-of-school children in Nigeria by 2 million every year for the next five years, the estimated out-of-school children at the end of the five years would be 193,918.

“The above followed the assumption that there would no new out-of-school children in these five years. All the children of school age will automatically enroll in school, following the compulsory years of schooling as enshrined in the UBEC Act,” he said.

Also speaking, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, Sonny Echono, urged all the state commissioners at the meeting to take the action plan contained in the document seriously.

He said the 2018 National Personnel Audit of Primary schools in Nigeria showed that 10.2 million children were out of school.

“Following the various federal government intervention programmes aimed at reducing the rate of out-of-school children in Nigeria by 2 million every year for the next five years, the estimated out-of-school children at the end of the five years would be 193,918,” he said.

“The above followed the assumption that there would no new out-of-school children in these five years. All the children of school age will automatically enroll in school, following the compulsory years of schooling as enshrined in the UBEC Act,” he said.

The two-day retreat was attended by states’ commissioners of education, permanent secretaries, chairpersons of State Universal Basic Education Boards (SUBEBs), directors and heads of parastatals and agencies in the education sector.

With Premium Times report

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