Federal Government said through the Better Education Service Delivery for All, BESDA, an initiative it has reduced the figure of Out-of-School Children by 3, 247,590 as of December 2020.
The Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu said the figure was made up of 1,792,833 through formal schools while 1,454,757 were through non-formal interventions such as Almajiri, Girl child nomadic and Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, as confirmed by the National Population Commission and the National Bureau of Statistics.
Adamu disclosed this yesterday at the 2020 Annual Ministerial Press Briefing in Abuja, yesterday.
It would be recalled that Adamu had expressed the greatest regret of his inability to bring down a number of school children to a manageable/ the barest minimum.
The Minister said he is using his second tenure to confront the task of reducing the number of out of school persons with renewed vigor.
Explaining the efforts made and what the Ministry has achieved in the area of OoSC in the past year, the Minister said under the initiative of BESDA, the federal government secured a World Bank credit facility of six hundred and eleven million dollars ($611,000,000) to support 17 states of the federation in strengthening Universal Basic Education as well as address the out of school children.
He said Nigeria recorded impressive school enrolment figures in the 17 states of the federation where BESDA is being implemented.
According to the Minister, FG has so far launched BESDA in 10 States which include, Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Ebonyi, Kano, Kebbi, Oyo, Yobe, Niger, and Zamfara.
Adamu said the National Association of Proprietors and School Owners of Nigeria, NAPSON, are working with the ministry very closely to reduce the number of out of school children
He said the association has taken over 1 million out of school children off the streets, with each private school sponsoring five pupils.
The minister also revealed the ministry carried out enrolment programs in three states of Benue, Nasarawa, and Zamfara last year.
According to him, FG through the Adolescent Girls Initiative for Learning and Empowerment Programme, AGILE, an initiative supported by the World Bank addressing challenges posed by adolescent girls who are out of school or have never been in school.
He said a World Bank facility of Five Hundred Million Dollars ($500,000,000) has been secured to ensure that these girls are taken off the streets, trained, and financially empowered to enable them to live normal and quality lives.
Adamu identified adult illiteracy as major causes of out-of school, saying children of illiterate parents are 80 percent more likely to be out of school.
He equally disclosed plans to work out instruments that would make it an offense for any adult illiterate not to be undertaking any form of learning.
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