*Says, it has secure $611million loan from world bank to strengthen UBE
Doosuur Iwambe, Abuja
The federal government has said that the number of out -of – school children in Nigeria has dropped from 10.1million from May last year to 6.9million.
Speaking during the annual ministerial press briefing in Abuja on Thursday, the minister of education, Mallam Adamu Adamu noted that the feat was achieved through the implementation of Better Education Service and Delivery for All’ (BESDA).
The minister stressed that with the successful launch of BESDA in ten states, it recorded impressive school enrollment figures in at least 17 states.
He further revealed that the government under BESDA initiative secured a world bank credit facility in the sum of $611m to strengthen the Universal Basic Education in the country.
“Under the initiative”Better Education Seŕvice and Delivery for All’ (BESDA), the federal government secured a world bank credit facility in the sum of six hundred and eleven million dollars to support in strengthening the Universal Basic Education as well as address the first pillar of the Ministerial Strategic Plan (MSP) on out -of-school children.
“So far, we have launched BESDA in ten states, namely, Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Ebonyi, Kano, Kebbi, Oyo, Yobe, Niger and Zamfara.
“As at today, we have recorded impressive school enrollment figures in 17 states of the federation where BESDA is being implemented. I can however tell you that through the BESDA initiative, we have reduced the figure of out-of school children from 10.1million since May last year down to 6,946,328 million”, Adamu said.
The minister who also disclosed that the ministry is working closely with the National Association of Proprietors and School Owners of Nigeria (NAPSON), said, the association has so far taken about 1million out-of- school children off the street.
“As at the last count, NSPSON has taken over I million out of school children off the street, with each private school sponsoring five pupils. The federal ministry of education recognises the association of school owners as a veritable organ to tackle the out of school children. This organisation already has schools and can easily absorb the children that are out of school”.
Speaking further, Mallam Adamu said, the Adolescent Girls Initiative Initiative For Learning and Empowerment Programme(AGILE), was launches by the ministry to deal with the challenges posed by adolescent girls who are out of school or have never been in school.
He said, a world bank facility of $5million was secured to ensure that the girls were taken off the streets.
“A world bank facility of $5million has been secured to ensure that these girls are taken off the streets, trained and financially empowered to enable them live normal and quality lives. Full implementation of AGILE programme will begin in 2021.
“The phenomenon of adult illiterates is equally disturbing. The children of illiterates parents are 80percent more prone to be out of school. Attention has therefore been given to the masses illiteracy sub-sector in the last one year.
“In 2019, we were able to lift 1million Nigerians off the shelve of adult illiterates while 900,000 thousand have been taken off that bracket in 2020. In the last two years, 1.9million illiterate Nigerians have been able to read and write either in english or the three Nigrrian languages through this effort”, the minister added.
He added that with the outbreak of COVID-19, the ministry introduced online learning facilities to keep children updated with the curriculum.
He however disclosed that electricity, internet access for teachers as some the challenges encountered in the online learning process.