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450,000 out-of-school children: Gombe SUBEB laments, partners UNICEF on girl child school enrollment

The Acting Secretary of Gombe State Universal Basic Education Board, (SUBEB), Zulaihat Madugu has lamented that the Board received a report that over 450, 000 children in Gombe State are out of school while UNICEF is saying that it could be higher than that.

She made the disclosure in Gombe  while declaring opened a workshop at the Community Education Resource Centre, Gombe, stressing that, “There was a National Personnel Audit that was conducted last year (2018) between April and June by the Universal Basic Commission (UBEC) and we are still awaiting the data, but in any case, the number is high”.

She, therefore, said that in order to achieve the goal, the Board, in conjunction with UNICEF, has mobilised 100 undergraduate youths across the State from different tertiary institutions in Nigeria for a three-day workshop to advocate on increased access to safe and quality education for all, especially girls.

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The Acting Secretary of SUBEB said that the Board partnered with UNICEF to organise the workshop because it is not happy with the situation of girl-child education in the State and wants to check it stating that in a determined efforts to reduce the rising cases of out of school children, especially girls dropping out of school, SUBEB is partnering with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to end the trend.

According to Zulaihat Madugu who is the Director, School Services of the Board, at the end of the training, “it is hoped that the undergraduate students will vanguard in mobilising support for us either in the communities they live or wherever they live so that we get back these girls back to school”.

She further said that “We are worried because if you go round today, you will see a lot of girls hawking around, some of them started school and then dropped out on the way. If we continue that way, it’s not going to be well for us in the society’’.

“We hope that after the training, we will have a vanguard, especially for the hard to reach communities to mobilise parents, village heads, and religious leaders to send these children to school. UNICEF has given us support and we are prepared and we hope to get the children back to school. But the challenge is keeping them in school, which we have to partner with the parents”, Mrs Zulaihatu emphasised.

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