Govts votes N10b to take out-of-school kids from streets

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Federal and state governments have earmarked N10 billion to remove 10.2 million out-of-school children from the streets in the next five years.

The Federal Government said it hoped to achieve the target by enrolling two million children yearly in the next five years.

Education Minister Adamu Adamu stated this at the unveiling of Education Sector Short and Medium Term Blueprint/Work Plan on the implementation of Education for Change: A Ministerial Strategic Plan (MSP) document presented to stakeholders on Thursday in Abuja.

The event was a two-day retreat attended by state education commissioners, permanent secretaries, chairmen of State Universal Basic Education Boards (SUBEBs), directors and heads of corporations and agencies in the Education sector.

According to the document, by the end of 2020, about N3 billion would have been committed by 19 states, outside the intervention of the Federal Government for the enrolment of over two million school-age children that are not in school.

Also, states are expected to commit another N2.4 billion in 2021, N2 billion in 2022, N1.5 billion in 2023 and N1.1 billion in 2024 towards addressing the problem of out-of-school in the country.

Adamu said government would embark on sensitisation of traditional rulers and religious leaders on the need to inform their communities and subjects about the benefits of formal education.

The minister also announced plans by the government to crack down on substandard primary and secondary schools across the country.

He urged lawmakers to increase allocation to the Education sector, advising governors to invest more in basic education.

Adamu also advised governors to be prompt in providing matching grants to access the Federal Government interventions through the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC).

Also, National Commission for Mass Literacy, Adult and Non-Formal Education (NMAC) has said there are 65 million Nigerians that can neither read nor write while there are 10 million out-of-school children.

Its Executive Secretary Prof. Abba Haladu said this yesterday while addressing the House Committee on Basic Education, chaired by Julius Ihovbere (APC, Edo).

Haladu emphasised the need for government at all levels to have the political will to fight illiteracy to enhance sustainable development in the country.

“This is a very big challenge and the informal education sector will play a big role to return sanity to the country.

“We need to do something in a big way as a country to eradicate illiteracy,” he said.

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