The Federal Government has revealed that it is currently implementing the minimum standards on safe schools in 11 of the highest-risk states and plan to expand this work through multi-sectoral action and financing.
Minister of State for Education, Rt Hon GoodLuck Nanah Opiah, made this known on Tuesday in Abuja while declaring open a National Dialogue on Educational Issues, organised by the Federal Ministry of Education in collaboration with Knowledge and Innovation Exchange (KIX) Africa 19 Hub.
He noted that the Federal Government was concerned by the attack on schools by terrorists and the kidnapping of school children, adding that as one of the first countries to endorse the Safe School Declaration, Nigeria has developed a National Policy on School Safety and Security along with its associated minimum guidelines.
“We are presently implementing the minimum standards on safe schools in 11 of our highest risk states and plan to expand this work through multi-sectoral action and financing,” he said.
The Minister of State further stressed the need for governments in the African continent to embrace the use of data in guiding their decisions making processes.
Speaking on the theme, “Meeting The Data Challenge In Education; Achieving Gender Equality In And Through Education And Leaving No One Behind,” the Minister said timely and reliable data generation is required for qualitative planning and decision making.
“As a continent, we need to embrace the use of data in guiding our decisions. It is often said that Data is to planning what oxygen is to living.
“If we can successfully abridge the data gaps in Nigeria, we would have provided the fundamentals for resolving some many issues.
“Credible, timely and reliable data generation is required for qualitative planning and decision making. Strategies to deal with this issue are on and the Ministry is collaborating with relevant stakeholders in dealing with data challenges in Nigeria,” he said.
The Minister also reemphasised the importance of gender equality in the contemporary dynamic world where every male and female must receive quality education for a better and progressive society.
“The government of Nigeria is unrelenting in providing the needed opportunity for education for all and to ensure inclusiveness. President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration remains dogged in overcoming the challenges that keep a lot of our girls out of school and Nigeria has made significant strides in getting children and in particular girls into school.
“Nigeria has thus witnessed primary school attendance increasing from 61 per cent in 2016 to 68 per cent in 2021 and the gender parity index in primary school has increased from 0.95 in 2016 to 0.99 in 2021, (NDS, 2016 and 2021).
“Government at all levels and with the collaboration of stakeholders will continue to pursue investments to help in achieving positive outcomes for the issues that this dialogue was convened for,” Opiah added.
He further said Nigeria remains focused on the implementation of a comprehensive and holistic programme of activities including creating an enabling policy environment for data generation, gender equality and inclusive education, saying that the country is present, implementing the minimum standards on safe schools in 11 of our highest risk states and plan to expand this work through multi-sectoral action and financing.
Presenting a paper on achieving gender equality in and through education and leaving no one behind, Dr Quentin Wodon, the Director of, the International Institute for Capacity Building in Africa (IICBA) Addis Ababa said preventing child marriage and ensuring the education of girl children have huge benefits.
He urged countries to improve learning at primary levels, noting that it will have a great impact given that education at the bottom is extremely important.
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