A new survey by the National Population Commission (NPC) has revealed that 12 per cent of children of school-going age in Oyo State were still out-of-school,
The NPC Federal Commissioner in Oyo State, Dr Eyitayo Oyetunji, told newsmen on Monday in Ibadan that this was the key outcome of the National Education Data Survey (NEDS) conducted by the NPC.
NAN reports that NEDS was aimed at evaluating the performance of states under the Better Education Service Delivery for All, (BESDA) project.
Oyetunji said that the study was to specifically evaluate the impact of BESDA, a 5-year project which commenced in 2017, to reduce the incidence of school dropouts.
“In Oyo State, the report has shown that we still have 12 per cent of children who ought to be in school, out of school. And the report that we have today has shown that some of the reasons why the children have dropped out are that there are no teachers.
“But we are happy to note that the state is presently in the process of recruiting teachers, so we expect that with the drive by the governor to recruit more teachers, some of these children would be back in school,” he said.
He cited another reason as the distance from home, saying some of the children dropped out of school because of the perceived distance of the schools to their homes.
According to him, “a major aspect of the report that will be of benefit to the state, in their analysis and further intervention, is that more of the children that are out of school are in the rural areas.
“But we are happy to note that when compared with other states, Oyo State is doing very well in many of the areas that were evaluated.”
Mr Olasunkanmi Olaleye, the State Commissioner for Education, said the state government had been able to bring 40,000 children back to school.
Olaleye, who was represented by Mrs Aminat Atere, the permanent secretary in the ministry, said that the state was committed to making education accessible to all.
“According to the NEDS, Oyo State has 272,847 out of school children to be drawn back to schools.
“Thus, Oyo State is expected to strategize on how to ensure that all out-of-school-children are brought back to schools within the five years (2017-2022) life cycle of the programme across the country.
“I wish to sincerely thank NPC for their support and joint co-operation with Oyo State in carrying out the survey,” he said, adding that from Makinde’s several programmes and policies it was evident that the government was set to bring back to school all out-of-school children in the state.
“I assure NPC and all stakeholders that the result will be put to use by Oyo State to enhance Education delivery in the State,” he said, as the 2020 NEDs report was formally launched by the commissioner.
BESDA is a programme, funded by the World Bank, with the aim of improving pupil retention or reducing school dropout rates in 17 States that had been identified as having high school dropout rates.
It also aimed to improve literacy in those states, after reducing the dropout rates, and subsequently to evaluate the impact of the intervention.