Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development Sadiya Umar Farouq quoting the National Bureau of Statistics has indicated that about 12 million children are currently out of school in the country.

She made the disclosure just as the National Steering Committee on Alternate School Program commenced collation of data of all out-of-school children in the country.

Farouk was speaking at the second meeting of the committee held yesterday at the office of the Accountant General of the Federation in Abuja.
She said the Committee will work with the statistics made available by the NBS to engage the out of school children.

“The Alternate School Program possesses the potential for every child to gain access to quality education, irrespective of social, cultural or economic standing, as well as provide a means of improving household incomes for their respective families, through the Federal Government’s Social Investment Programmes, as delivered through the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.

“It also seeks to equip children with the requisite skills and wherewithal to engage with and contribute meaningfully to the Nigerian economy”.

Umar Farouq explained that the committee has worked closely with the Ministry of Education and other ministries to refine the concept of the Alternate School Programme.

“In collaboration with the Ministry of Education, we have spent the last few weeks in engagement with various stakeholders, in a bid to refine and strengthen the ASP Concept towards successful implementation of this programme; for it is upon this foundation that we can begin to erect necessary building blocks.

“The significance of each  member of the National Steering Committee in providing the necessary leadership for the success of the programme cannot be overemphasised.”

She said the success of the Alternate School Programme will rely largely on inter-ministerial collaboration and effective stakeholder engagement”.

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