Out-of-school children must be returned and retained, Minister says

The Minister of State for Education, Yusuf Sununu, on Wednesday in Yola said the Federal Government has redoubled efforts to ensure out-of-school children were returned and retained in school.

The Minister, who stated this at the inauguration the National Campaign on Out-of-school Children 2024 for four geo-political zones in Nigeria, said this was to achieve a better society.

Represented by Mrs Joy Onoja, the federal ministry’s Deputy Director, Basic Education, Sununu said a significant number of children in the country were still deprived of the fundamental rights to education.

“The socio-cultural and economic issues complicated by the world ravaging COVID-19 pandemic have escalated the number of children who are out of school.

“The road map for the Nigeria education sector for Renewed Hope 2023 to 2027 has also observed that the country still has the highest rate of out-of-school children.

“This is why the Federal Government has been working tirelessly in creating an environment where every child has the opportunity to learn, grow and contribute meaningfully to the society.”

He assured that the Ministry would identify such children, ensure their enrollment in formal and non-formal learning centres close to their homes with provision of school materials for continued learning.

Sununu urged stakeholders, philanthropists and individuals to work together and ensure indigent children were given support and sponsored in various vocations to achieve a reliable and safe society.

Speaking also, Dr Umar Pella, the Adamawa Commissioner for Education, reiterated the state government’s commitment to ensuring every child in the state have access to education.

Pella said the campaign was critical to raising the required awareness and sensitisation at the local government and communities levels.

”This is to ensure every child was given the right to learn and be educated.”

He disclosed that basic education in the state was free and compulsory, adding that the law on education in the state would be fully implemented and defaulters prosecuted.

“Out-of-school children is a case that is becoming globally alarming in Nigeria, especially in the Northern part of the country

“Every child not in school is a potential danger to the society. He or she can be recruited by evil forces and become a menace to the society,” the Commissioner said.

He encouraged parents to take advantage of the free education provided by ensuring children of school age were enrolled in spite of their social and economic background.

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