N10bn needed to mop up 10.2m out-of-school kids –Minister

The Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, has said the Federal Government needs about N10billion to mop up 10.2 million out-of-school children in the country.

Adamu stated this in Abuja on Thursday, noting that the Federal Government planned to enroll 2 million of such kids in schools by 2020.

The minister spoke during a retreat for state commissioners, permanent secretaries, chairmen of state branches of the Universal Basic Education Board, directors and heads of parastatals and agencies in the education sector, held at the Federal Ministry of Education headquarters.

He said, “States are expected to commit N2.4bn in 2021, N2bn in 2022, N1.5bn in 2023 and N1.1 billion in 2024 respectively towards addressing the menace of out-of-school children syndrome.

“The high rate of out-of-school children in Nigeria, who are mostly girls, internally displaced persons, orphans and vulnerable children must be addressed.”

Adamu listed some of the strategic actions to be carried out within the period to include sensitisation of traditional rulers and religious leaders on the need to inform their communities of the benefits of formal education.

He urged lawmakers to increase allocation to the education sector, while calling on state governors to also invest more in basic education.

The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, Sonny Echono, in his presentation, said the government desired that two million school-age children should be taken off the street every year for the next five years.

He disclosed that the 2018 National Personnel Audit of Primary schools in Nigeria showed that 10,193 kids were out of school.

He said, “Following the various Federal Government intervention programmes aimed at reducing the rate of out-of-school children in Nigeria by 2 million every year for the next five years, the estimated out-of-school children at the end of the five years will be 193,918.

“The above followed the assumption that there would no new out-of-school children in these five years. All the children of school age will automatically enroll in school, following the compulsory years of schooling as enshrined in the UBEC Act.”
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