Participants at a National Conference on Out Of School Children in Nigeria have called for political will, consistency in policy delivery and good leadership to tackle the Out Of School Children menace in the country.
They also called for adequate and consistent funding as well as deliberate investment in basic education.
Declaring the National Conference open in Abuja, the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, noted that government alone cannot address the out of school children phenomenon and called for support from stakeholders.
The Minister who was represented by the Director Secondary Education, Dr Folake Davies, called for review of approaches to addressing the scourge.
“The ministry has taken steps to strengthen inter-agencies programmes that target OSC phenomenon. We plan for the open school programme that will help OSC to access learning opportunities. There is therefore need for all and sundry to show commitment towards the success of addressing the phenomenon for better outcomes,” he added
The Chairman House Committee on Basic Education, Prof Julius Ihonvbere, identified political will, consistency in policy delivery as major factors needed to addressing the Out of School Menace in Nigeria.
He called on Presidential Candidates in Nigeria’s 2023 election to prioritize the issue of out of school children and answer several questions emanating from the challenges posed by the menace.
The Executive Secretary of the Universal Basic Education Commission UBEC, Dr Hamid Bobboyi, identified the need for development partners to re-strategise and synergise better to tackle the out of school children problem.
“There is need to plan together and ensure that resources are judiciously utilised to have collective results. We must also take full responsibility for our actions or lack of them and be able to receive enlightenment on education and society and enlighten our communities the truth about lifestyle which encourages child neglect and out of school phenomenon” Dr Bobboyi stated.
He tasked stakeholders to take responsibility in addressing the issue of enlargement of communities while the government and other partners revamp the basic education sub sector.
UNICEF Nigeria Chief Education Saadhna Panday, acknowledged that the world was facing an unprecedented out of school children crisis.
She said 25million children are out of school globally with and identified economic status and location of schools as major challenges hindering enrolment of children in schools.
Reporting by Daniel Adejo; Editing by Adeniyi Bakare