FG reiterates commitment to address menace of out-of-school children

Prof Aishatu Maigari.
Prof Aishatu Maigari.
FG reiterates commitment to address menace of out-of-school children

The federal government has on Wednesday reitrated its commitment to address the menace of out-of-school children as a precursor to save the country from slipping into an impending precipice.

Making the commitment during the opening of a two-day regional stakeholders engagement meeting on the Out-of-School Children and the Retention, Transition and Completion Models in Bauchi, Gombe and Adamawa states, organized by UNICEF, Awwal Hussain, the representative of the director basic education urged all stakeholders to evolve measures to holistically address the huge gap responsible for the menace.


Federal civil servants lament hardship over non payment of Jan. salaries

Photo Splash: The Turbaning of ex-AG of the federation as Ajiyan Hausa by emir of Daura

OAGF commissions newly constructed Kano State Federal Pay Office

He commended UNICEF for its untiring effort and unparalleled commitment towards addressing the challenges of out-of-school children and the future danger they posed.

He noted that such platform provides a veritable access for all stakeholders to address the menace through collaboration and knowledge sharing.

“On behalf of management of the federal ministry of education I would like to extend deepest gratitude to Unicef for taking the leadership role of convening this meeting. It is through collaborative efforts and shared knowledge that you can make a significant difference in the life of out of school children in Nigeria.

“I commend UNICEF and ministry of education Gombe State for their efforts and other stakeholders to ensure every child receives the fundamental rights to education. regardless of their circumstances. There is no better time to begin the journey than now. It is a vital platform to deliberate on collective journey of reflection and dialogue.

“We recognize persistent challenges in the education sector particularly in the northeastern region of the country. It is imperative to acknowledge some achievements. The nation has made significant progress in increasing enrollment and access to education particularly through initiatives such as universal basic education programs the establishment of national commission for almajiri and out of school children education in 2023.

“However despite these efforts we can not turn a blind eye to the alarming numbers of out of school children especially in the states of Bauchi Adamawa and Gombe. The presence of out of school children in our society is a persistent reminder that we must do more to bridge the gap between the education system and these marginalized children.

“Education is not just a privilege for the fortunate few. It is fundamental right that should be accessible to each and every child. The consequences of neglecting education can lead to the perpetuation of poverty inequality and stagnation of our nation development every child who represents out of school children represent a missed opportunity for our nation,” he said.

In her goodwill message, Gombe State commissioner of education, Professor Aishatu Maigari said the meeting could not have come at a better time considering the critical need to address the menace of out-of-school children.

She noted that it is imperative for stakeholders to come up with measures that will be used in mopping up out-of-school children to make sure they get education and make sure they also transit from primary to junior and senior secondary schools.

Maigari emphasized that the livelihoods of children who complete secondary education especially girls appreciate by 10 percent adding that research has shown that when you have a father who is interested in the education of his girl child, you see the girls going further than expected.

In his goodwill message, the Chief of Field Office, UNICEF Bauchi Field Office, Dr. Tushar Rane said at the end of the two day meeting stakeholders should chart collective commitments to creating and implementing models for the reduction of the number of out-of-school children and increasing the retention, transition, and completion of adolescent girls and boys in secondary education.

He noted that, a staggering 10.2 million primary school-age children and an additional 8.1 million at the junior secondary level are out of school in Nigeria.

“Unfortunately, this positions Nigeria with the challenge of having the largest number of out-of-school children globally. Only 63 percent of children of primary school age children regularly attend school. According to the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey 2021, only 84 percent of children effectively transition to junior secondary education after primary school completion.

“Less than 50 percent – about 2.4 million – of the 5.9 million children who commence Primary Grade 1 annually in Nigeria persist to the conclusion of Junior Secondary Grade 3.
An analysis of the MICS reports between 2011 and 2021 shows an increase in dropout rates across all genders at the primary level especially in the northern part of the country. Specifically, the primary-level dropout rate rose from 1% in 2011 to 5% in 2021.

“A similar upward trend is noticeable when considering wealth quintiles. For students belonging to the poorest wealth quintile, the primary-level dropout rate increased from 2% in 2011 to 6% in 2021. Among students in the richest wealth quintile, the dropout rate also showed an increase, rising from 1% in 2011 to 4% in 2021. This consistent pattern suggests that, compared to a decade ago, the education system in Nigeria faces challenges in retaining students and ensuring their continued education across all the regions and the problem persists in the northeast and northwest.

“Numerous obstacles prevent consistent school attendance, timely enrolment, and completion of education for all Nigerian children. Some of these obstacles include inadequate evidence-based policy and planning, limited budget allocation, significant shortages of qualified teachers and classrooms, poor infrastructure, cultural norms, health and safety worries, and dependence on children for income and household tasks.

“UNICEF is deeply concerned with the rate of out-of-school children, and low learning achievement in the country, especially in the north-east and north-west regions. In collaboration with the Universal Basic Education Commission, we have developed the “National Framework of Action to Reduce the Number of Out-of-School Children in Nigeria” and the “Retention, Transition, and Completion Model” which ensures inclusive and equitable quality education and promotes lifelong learning opportunities for all.

“As you will see over the next two days, this framework and RTC model will guide your respective states in confronting the OOSC phenomenon, strengthening the community accountability and mobilization, use of innovations and technologies to increase access to quality learning and financing of OOSC in the state.

“I encourage open dialogue, active participation, and the sharing of insights during the two-day engagement. I envisage that after this meeting, we will have clear, targeted, and state-specific strategies that will further ensure that we reduce the rate of out-of-school children and enhance retention, transition, and completion,” Rane noted.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here