Mrs Adejoke Adefulire, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), has called for joint government/stakeholders’ effort in returning out-of-school children to classrooms.
Adefulire, who made the appeal in Abuja on Friday at an event to commemorate this year’s International Day of Education (IDE), said that the Federal Government would continue to support all-inclusive education.
According to her, the Federal Government’s ongoing renovation of primary and secondary schools across the country is meant to encourage back-to-school activities.
“Undoubtedly, education holds the key to unlocking the huge potential of people on the planet. More specifically, learning can empower people build shared prosperity, foster peace and preserve the planet.
“As we are celebrating this year’s International Day of Education let us be reminded that in every five out-of-school children, I doubt if Nigeria is not one.
“Out of over 10.3 million out-of-school children in Nigeria, 60 per cent of them are girls. This is very unfortunate.
“We must do everything humanly possible, everything politically possible and every support and partnership that we can gather, every movement that we can make to ensure that all children in Nigeria return to school.
“The Federal Ministry of Education has announced that 10 million out-of-school children be returned to school.
“So we are going to work together with the Federal Ministry of Education and sub-national governments to ensure that all hands are on deck,’’ she said.
Adefulire also said that the government would be working with international organisations, private sector, NGOs, civil society organisations and Local Government Areas.
According to her, inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong learning for all are central to the achievement of all the other 16 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, said the ministry was working with stakeholders to ensure the implementation of the Ministerial Strategic Plan (MSP)
Represented by Mr Joel Ojo, the ministry’s Director of Tertiary Education, Adamu said that the ministry had already adopted strategies for the speedy implementation of the plan.
“As Nigeria joins the rest of the world to mark the 2020 IDE we must pause to ponder on our roles as stakeholders in the field of education and consider this theme the most appropriate.
“This is in view of the poor learning outcomes and all the challenges facing education sector in the country.
“The administration of President Muhammadu Buhari is committed to quality education.
“To this effect, the Ministerial Strategic Plan 2018-2022, titled ‘education for change’ was developed to address the challenges confronting education sector,’’ he said.
The UNESCO Regional Director in Nigeria, Ydo Yao called on the Nigerian governments to address the nation’s educational and learning challenges.
Yao said that it would need the collective responsibility of governments and other stakeholders to reduce the challenges of out-of-school children in Nigeria.
He said that it was imperative for urgent action to be taken in bringing back to school the out-of-school children.