How FG plans to eradicate out-of-school menace in Nigeria — UBEC

THE Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) has expressed the Federal Government’s determination to eradicate the menace of out-of-school children in Nigeria as concrete measures are being put in place to get the school-age children off the streets.

Deputy executive secretary, Services, UBEC, Dr Isiaka Olayinka Kolawole, said the launch of Better Education Service Delivery for All (BESDA) in Nigeria is one of the fresh initiatives of the Federal Government towards ensuring that the number of out-of-school children is drastically reduced while improving literacy among school-age children in Nigeria.

Kolawale spoke at a workshop on Financing Agreement and its Implementation Manual signed with States Universal Basic Education Boards (SUBEBs) for legal officers of the Universal Basic Education Commission in Lagos.

It will be recalled that the Federal Government had also secured the sum of $611 million World Bank credit facility under the BESDA to support Universal Basic Education as well as address the first pillar of Ministerial Strategic Plan.

The number of out-of-school children is estimated to be over 10.1 per cent in Nigeria, with majority of this figure coming from the North.

Concerned by this menace, the Federal Government also made the out-of-school children the number one pillar in the Ministerial Strategic Plan (MSP) for the development of the education in Nigeria to give it a better focus.

According to statistics obtained from the Federal Ministry of Education, a total of 1,053,422 out-of-school children have already been enrolled in schools in the 17 beneficiary states under the BESDA programme as follows: Adamawa, 25,714; Bauch, 83,391; Borno, 62,336; Ebonyi, 65,471; Gombe, 52,600; Jigawa, 47,416; Kaduna, 39,091; Kano, 302434; Katsina, 26,555; Kebbi, 25,556; Niger, 73,568; Oyo, 40,007; Rivers, 22,782; Sokoto, 71,000; Taraba, 24,246; Yobe, 72,000 and Zamfara, 19,055.

The deputy executive Secretary said BESDA programme would significantly promote system strengthening among states of the federation with targeted number of out-of-school children to be taken off the street and placed under a proper school system.

He stressed that the “BESDA programme which is supported by World Bank is targeted at out-of-school children to increase equitable access, improve literacy and strengthen accountability for results in basic education delivery in Nigeria.”

He informed the participants at the workshop that for BESDA programme to succeed, two forms of legal documents had been signed by the World Bank with the Federal Government on one part, and according to UBEC 17, beneficiary states on the other part.

“Therefore it is my desire that you commit yourselves to understanding the documents and benefits that will accrue from this workshop,” he said.

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