Malam Adamu Adamu, Honourable Minister for Education

Education Blues: Nigeria urges state governors to address increasing out-of-school children

*The Federal Government has urged state governors to make substantive efforts at ensuring increased access, improved quality, and  systems strengthening of education at all levels in their respective states across the Federation

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

The Federal Government has urged state governors to stem the tide of rising numbers of out-of-school children in their respective units.

Goodluck Opiah, Honourable Minister of State for Education, stated this Thursday, January 12, 2023, in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, during the flag-off ceremony and National campaign on out-of-school children.

Child-Beggers on the Street of Nigeria

Opiah urged governors to make substantive efforts to ensure increased access, improve quality and systems strengthening of

education at all levels in the states of the Federation, agency report said.

The Minister expressed concern that the number of out-of-school children was still on the high side with Nigeria ranking highest in Sub-Saharan Africa.

These children, he noted, are found on the streets hawking, begging, some as house girls without any skill and some in the farms during school hours.

The Minister of State for Education also said: “There is nothing to cheer about if a single child is out of school, not to talk of the millions that are currently roaming the streets in different parts of the country, instead of being in the classroom learning.”

Opiah as well insisted that there is a need to address the challenge adequately by strengthening the quality of basic education in the state while confronting those factors that deny children access to basic education decisively.

The Federal Government was determined to ensure that school-age children who are out of school are enrolled and retained in formal or non-formal schools within close proximity to their homes, stated he.

Opiah further said: “We must always remember that education is our collective responsibility and its failure can well be taken as the failure of us all.

“This calls for the need for all hands to be on deck, the need for joint efforts, commitment and political will to eradicate the out-of-school children menace in Nigeria.”

He added: “Its persistence is inimical to the economic growth and advancement of our country.

“Gainful engagement of our teeming children and youth will lead to a peaceful environment and curtail vices and crimes in the society.”

Speaking at the forum, Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State expressed concern that despite different programmes and policies, “the number of children out of school is still rising.”

Abiodun explained that his government had continually increased yearly enrollment of pupils as part of efforts at reducing the number of out-of-school children in the state, saying over 1.7 million was recorded in 2022.

The governor called for sustained collaboration among stakeholders in addressing the challenges.

In his welcome address, Prof. Abayomi Arigbabu, Ogun State Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, also explained that the government had cancelled levies in public schools to encourage enrollment in schools in the country.

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