FG restates commitment to end out-of-school children syndrome, launches NCAOOSCE office complex

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In continued efforts to provide adequate education for children in the country, the Federal Government through the Ministry of Education has launched the office complex for the National Commission for Almajiri and Out-of-School Children Education, NCAOOSCE, to put an end to the menace of Almajiri and out-of-school children in the country.

Speaking during the commissioning of the Headquarters for the National Commission for Almajiri and Out-of-School Children Education, NCAOOSCE, in Abuja, the Minister of Education, Professor Tahir Mamman, reiterated the determination of the present administration to achieve this feat noting that there was now a sense of urgency in the bid to end or reduce to the barest minimum the number of out-of-school children in the country.

Mamman however, said the current administration was more committed than ever to ending the menace, saying the out-of-school children phenomenon ranked first in the 13 pillars of the Ministerial deliverables of the Ministry of Education.

He said, “Our push is determined by this sense of urgency we have to address this problem and we have the determination and the commitment to do it.

“This is the time for us to face squarely and forcefully this monster which is a problem everywhere both in terms of security.

“In most political rallies and where demonstrations or crises like the purported demonstrations on the rising cost of living in Minna, Niger state, 80℅ of those you see there were young boys and girls. That shows the danger we have to dress very quickly.

“Time is not on our side, we have a democratic time frame of 4 years and we have spent 6 months or so and we are very conscious of that.”

He urged development partners not to be tired of supporting with strategies and resources to enable Nigeria to overcome the challenge.

He appealed to State Governments to work with the Federal Government to address the national problem since they were the ones that have the bulk of the out-of-school children in their domain.

The Minister said the inauguration of the office complex in Abuja, Nigeria was necessary so that development partners and other stakeholders would know where the agency operates from because of its critical position.

He said since planning has been completed, the Commission will now go straight into action and the implementation stage to enable the millions of out-of-school children in Nigeria to go back to class for learning and skills acquisition.

Also, Chairman House Committee on Alternative Education, Hon. Al Mustapha Aliyu Rabah said the establishment of the Commission has opened doors for the neglected and forgotten ones in the society.

According him, there “are over 40 million almajiris not captured in the nations database and constituted part of the neglected and forgotten children in the country.”

Stressing that House Members took the menace seriously and launched a funding initiative which has attracted contributions in and out of the country.

The Executive Secretary of the Commission, Hon. Sha’aban Ibrahim Sharada said the inauguration of the edifice stands as a symbol of hope and a beacon of hope for the millions of Almajiris and out-of-school children who have been denied access to education.

Sharada said the desire of President Ahmed Bola Tinubu to return 10 million out-of-school children to school by 2027 is a challenge that the commission has not only accepted but embraced with dogged determination.

“It is the beginning of hope for the countless numbers of out-of-school children.

“It signifies the commencement integration of the Koranic and Tsangaya system of education,” he said

He said that the Commission would work with traditional and religious leaders, members of the diplomatic corps, NGOs, and all stakeholders who share the vision of the agency to educate and empower a new generation of future leaders.

“We will open doors to like minds and empower the next generation of Nigerian leaders,” he said.

He said on assumption of duty as the Executive Secretary of the commission the two Ministers of Education charged him to come up with an actionable strategic plan for the provision of quality and inclusive access to basic education as well as vocational training for the high number of out of school children and Almajiri for their livelihood and self-reliance, hence the progress so far.