FG decries rate of out-of-school children
FG decries rate of out-of-school children. The Federal Government has decried the rate of out-of-school children in Nigeria, promising to take action to ensure they return to school to get the education they deserve.
The government’s position was made known in the keynote address delivered by the Minister of State for Education, Hon. Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, at the National Campaign on Out-of-School Children in Birnin Kebbi, Kebbi State on Thursday.
According to the United Nations Children’s Fund, about 10.5 million children aged 5-14 years are out-of-school in Nigeria, with only 61 per cent of 6-11 year-olds regularly attending primary school and only 35.6 per cent of children aged 36-59 months receive early childhood education.
In a statement by the Federal Ministry of Education, Nwajiuba was quoted as saying that “the high number of out of school children is inimical to the growth and development of any Nation”.
The minister, in his address, noted that no Nation can make meaningful progress with a high number of its youths as illiterates.
He stated that the Federal Ministry of Education is determined to ensure that all children of school age who are out of school are returned and retained to complete their Basic and secondary education and possibly transit to tertiary institutions.
Nwajiuba called for synergy amongst stakeholders, especially communities where these children exist, to ensure that they are provided with the necessary support to achieve education since it is the only way the Nigerian society can be better, reliable, developed and peaceful.
He also appealed to good spirited individuals and groups to take responsibility for the education of these children, especially for the orphaned who have no one to carter for their educational needs.
The Minister, however, called on state governments to upscale their efforts in supporting the Federal Government in the task of educating these children, adding that education is a collective responsibility.
An educated populace, the Minister said, is a critical recipe for development and peace in any society.
The Minister also expressed pain over the remaining 14 students who were abducted at the Federal Government College Birni Yauri in 2021, calling on all hands to remain on deck for the release of the remaining children.
“My heart and soul are with all Nigerian Children who are still in captivity. I stand with the parents in the circumstance. The government will continue to do all it can to free our children who are being held for what they know nothing about,” Nwajiuba stated.