The Minister of state for Education, Chukuemeka Nwajiuba, on Thursday said Nigeria has more than 10 million out-of-school children, the highest in sub-Saharan Africa.
Nwajiuba made this known at the launching of Better Education Service Delivery for All (BESDA) by Jigawa Government in Dutse.
“With an estimated 10,193,918 children out of school, Nigeria has the highest number of out-of-school children in Sub-Saharan Africa.
“For us to address these challenges adequately therefore, we must strengthen the quality of basic education in Nigeria by confronting head-on those factors that deny our children access to basic education,” the minister said.
To this end, Nwajiuba urged stakeholders to strengthen the quality of education by addressing factors that denied children access to basic education.
He noted that the current challenges affecting the educational system in the country have left much to be desired.
According to him, the BESDA programme is designed to result in better life for all children with the aimed of increasing equitable access for out-of-school children, improve literacy and strengthen accountability for results at the basic education level in the focus states.
The minister noted that the programme focuses on 17 states, which include the entire 13 states of the North West and North East geographical zones as well Niger, Oyo, Ebonyi and Rivers.
He said that the selection of the states was based on the prevalence of the number of out-of-school children in the country.
“Permit me to state here that BESDA programme became effective on Jan. 22, 2018, with the commencement of implementation processes at the federal level.
“All key activities at the federal level to kick start implementation of the programme by focus states have been concluded.
“Each beneficiary state is therefore, expected to commence implementation in line with the specific steps and guidelines provided under the programme.
“You will agree with me that there is nothing to cheer about if a single child is out of school, instead of being in the classroom learning.
“So it is in this regard that ensuring the out of school children are back to school and learning.
“Learning is not only a moral and legal obligation, but also a productive investment that will guarantee the future of our children and ensure that their rights are protected as enshrined in the Child’s Right Act of 2003,” the minister said.
Gov. Muhammad Badaru of Jigawa said in a bid to increase equitable access and quality delivery in basic education sub-sector, has devoted on teacher recruitment in which 1,393 teachers were recruited in 2018.
Badaru said screening was ongoing for the recruitment of 4,000 teachers on J-teach.
He said that his administration had from 2015 to date constructed and renovated 6,679 classrooms, bought 5,963 teacher furniture, 185,086 of three-seater set pupils furniture and 1,922 double deck beds.
“We have also constructed 634 hand pumps, 254 staff houses, 4,746 toilet cubicles, 8 hostels, 516 Islamiya blocks and six admin blocks in our primary schools,” the governor said.