Banditry exacerbate Out-School-Children Syndrome in the Nort- Gov Sani-Bello
Governor Abubakar Sani Bello of Niger State and Chairman North Central States Governors’Forum (NCSGF) says there cannot be any meaningful development in the educational sector unless the safety of lives and property of the people are guaranteed.
The Governor stated this at the official flag-off of the North Central Zone 2022 National Campaign on Out-of-School Children held at the Government House, Minna.
Governor Sani Bello noted that the security challenges faced by the state as well as its land mass constitute major challenges to be considered by the Federal Ministry of Education in order to achieve the desired goal of the campaign to return out-of-school children back to school.
He said, because of the security challenges faced in the state as well as other parts of the country, parents find it difficult to release their wards to go to school.
“Obviously, anywhere there is insecurity, you don’t expect parents to allow their kids to go to school especially in situations where they are being kidnapped for ransom.”
“We need to apply more efforts towards addressing issues of security and making our communities safe because, if they are not safe, it will be difficult to convince them to go out to school.”
“While we make efforts to reduce the number of out-of-school children, we should make more efforts in ensuring that we provide security to protect lives and properties”, he added.
Governor Sani Bello however, maintained that the security challenges, if addressed, would allow for a smooth and rapid growth in the educational sector.
The Minister of State for Education, Mr. Chukwuemeka Nwajuiba said the Federal Ministry of Education is interfacing with the Niger State Government to ensure that children are taken out of streets and returned back to school.
He said the Ministry has reviewed the work so far done by Niger state in it’s educational sector in the past 7 years, confirming that much progress have been made in the number of school enrollment.
Speaking on the challenges faced by the state, the Minister said the Federal Government is aware of the security challenges faced by the state adding that President Muhammadu Buhari has already directed that all security agencies be on ground to tackle insecurity in the state.
He assured that Niger state government will receive more support as every other state, especially in the light of it’s own peculiar circumstances in order to be able to deal with the obstacles in the educational sector.
The Minister also disclosed that remote learning facilities have been put in place to manage school distance and to ensure proximity.
In their separate remarks, the state Commissioner for Education and the Chairman, Niger State Universal Basic Education, Dr. Isah Adamu said Niger state is committed to drastic reduction in the number of out-of-school children to ensure a peaceful society.
They said, with the help of the Northern state Governors and other critical stakeholders, the state was able to embark on a joint interstate action which helped the state record some successes in reducing the number of out-of-school children from 513,963 to 298,192.
Also speaking, the Director Basic Education, Dr. Mrs Olatunji Davis explained that the programme is the second phase of the several interventions that the federal ministry of education is embarking on to ensure a standard reduction in the number of out-of-school children in Nigeria.
She then called on stakeholders in the education sector to contribute their quota by adopting children of school age and supporting their education.
Highpoint of the flag-off ceremony was the presentation of educational materials to learners and teachers.
Chief Press Secretary
to the Governor of Niger State
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Report By: PRNigeria.com