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Oyo Moves to Address Menace of Out of School Children

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By Richard Thomas Ibadan

Oyo State Commissioner for Education, Professor Dahud  Shangodoyin  has called for collaboration  from stakeholders in the education sector to address the menace of out school  children in the state and Nigeria as a whole.

Prof. Shangodoyin made the call at the 2-Day policy Dialogue programme on enrollment drive for  stakeholders to increase enrolment into Basic and secondary schools in the state, held at Kakanfo Hall in Ibadan.

According to him, the menace of out of school children in Nigeria has  risen from 10.5 million to 13.2  million in recent survey carried out by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), which showed that Oyo State  takes the leading position in the south-west political zone of having close to over 400,000 pupils/students who are not in school.

“I am highly delighted to address you at this opening ceremony of a 2-Day Policy Dialogue on Enrolment Drive for Stakeholders on Strategies to increase enrolment into Basic and Secondary Schools in the state.  It is therefore imperative that all hands must be on deck to arrest the ugly trend.”

He said it was in the recognition of this fundamental fact that the present administration resolved to bring all the out of school children back to school adding that the various initiatives are aimed to  bring about a strong reform  in the state education sector which are in line with the UNICEF’s education programme to support  government in achieving  Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 through improved planning and by addressing some of the systemic barriers that hinder the implementation of effective education strategy.

“The Oyo State government under the leadership of Engr Seyi Makinde  has taken it upon himself  to restore the education industry to its past glory of excellent performance by announcing  free and compulsory qualitative education  at Basic and secondary education levels in the state, this which has resulted in increase in  enrolment in all public schools throughout the state”

The commissioner while commending the collaboration of UNICEF on the programme said it is important to engage traditional rulers and religious leaders  to help in reducing the menace of out of school children in their various locations.

In his welcome address, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Architect A.K Balogun described the 2-Day interactive meeting as very important in view of the dangerous trend posed by these group of  children who are out the street.

“The State Ministry of Education, Science and Technology believe that education is not only the key to societal development but also a veritable  tool for the liberation of man from the shackle of ignorance and diseases and a vital  instrument in the process of nation building”

According to him, available statistics showed that the number of out of school children in the state is on the high side adding that they are over thirteen million
of which two hundred a d seven two thousand, eight hundred and forty seven is in the state.

He described the collaboration between the ministry and UNICEF as another imperative steps at breaking even in the special and important  national assignment.

Speaking with journalist at  the programme, Education Specialist Murtala Mohammed who is also the Resource Person at the programme said one of the key areas of attention is the  release of money budgeted for education sector, adding that  by 2020 the sector should realise 80 percent Budget performance.

“The state should make strategic effort to address the high number of out of school children in the state, while parents any  stakeholders should support efforts of governments on the development.

 

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