Borno govt launches education programme to enhance enrollment

Borno Government on Friday said it had launched an education enrollment initiative — Better Education Service Delivery for All (BESDA) to enhance access to quality education.

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Alhaji Mohammed Abatcha, disclosed this in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Maiduguri.

Abatcha disclosed that the initiative would increase access to about one million out-of-school children in the next four years in the state.

He added that the objective of the programme was to enhance access for out-of-school children, improve literacy rate and promote accountability at the basic education level.

He explained that the programme would be implemented in collaboration with the World Bank, Federal Government and Borno State Universal Education Board (SUBEC).

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World Bank had granted a 611-million-dollar facility for the BESDA programme, designed to support Federal Government’s Universal Basic Education (UBE) and to facilitate the implementation of the 2016/2019 Ministerial Strategic Plan (MSP) on Out-of-School Children (OOSC).

The programme would be implemented in 17 states, including 13 selected states of the northwest and northeast, as well as Niger, Oyo, Ebonyi and Rivers states.

The selection of the participating states was based on the prevalence of the number of out-of-school children, estimated at about 13.2 million in the country.

Abatcah revealed that a number of teachers had completed training under the programme, designed to build capacity, improve performance and encourage academic excellence.

The permanent secretary said that the state government had adopted proactive measures to enhance collaboration with relevant stakeholders to address the devastation caused by the insurgency and other challenges militating against sustainable development in the sector.

According to him, the ministry has also concluded arrangements to unveil the 2019 Annual School Census.

On school development projects, Abatcha said that the state government had executed viable projects for effective physical structures hitherto destroyed by the Boko Haram insurgents in the past 10 years.

He listed the projects to include the construction of over 50 Mega Schools to expand the scope of school enrollment; reconstruction and rehabilitation of schools and classrooms, as well as the provision of instructional materials and furniture in the schools.

He added that the state government had so far commenced the recruitment process of additional qualified teachers to address the teacher shortage, while plans were underway to establish five vocational schools to enhance the entrepreneurial skills of students.

He, therefore, urged parents to enrol their wards in schools and tasked teachers to be dedicated to their duties to revive the education sector.