Nigeria signs MOU with Commonwealth to tackle Out of School Children

Temitope Mustapha, Abuja

President, Commonwealth of learning, Aisha Kanwar, UBEC Executive Secretary, Dr Hamid Bobboyi, Executive Secretary of NERDC and NMEC and the Representative of the federal Ministry of Education.

The Nigerian government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding, MOU with the Commonwealth of Learning to begin the implementation of the Open School learning in the country.

Signing the MOU in Abuja, the President of  Commonwealth of Learning, Anshar Kanwar said the only alternative to addressing the challenge of Out of School Children in Nigeria and all countries affected by the the scourge was the Open school learning initiative.

Kanwar said bricks and Mortal cannot address the problem neither would the conventional system of learning reach the target children.

According to her, “Children needs to learn what is relevant to their daily lives and because many of these children are closer to technology hence we need to take the advantage and use the alternative school approach to help them learn”

Open School Learning
She said that 27 nations out of the Commonwealth countries have implemented open school learning with cost effective plans.

” Already at the India National Institute of Open Schooling,they have 1.3million children their enrolled in the program and we want to hear that when Nigeria begin there would be more than 1.5million children enrolled in the initiative,” the President of the commonwealth of learning said.

Kansar noted that discussion had been ongoing between the Nigerian government and the Commonwealth of Learning, that the signing of the MOU was only to formalise events.

Every child is important and we must make sure all the children that are out of school are reached,” she said.

The Executive Secretary of the Universal Basic Education Commission, UBEC Dr Hamid Bobboyi said Nigeria cannot relent on its efforts to reduce the numbers of Out of school children which he said increased to 13.2million in 2015 due to Insurgency.

Bobboyi said Nigeria was ready to eliminate the scourge completely.

According to Bobboyi, ” the issue of Out of School has been on for about 10years in Nigeria and the figure kept rising to 13.2million precisely be in 2015 due to Boko Haram attacks”.

“Our aim is to reach every child with quality education” Bobboyi added.

Creating More Opportunities
The UBEC Executive Secretary stated that the Open School learning would create more opportunities to most children as it was planned to be carried out with high technology features.

Bobboyi called for involvement of State governments in the Programme saying there was need to build synergy among all stakeholders.

It is important to involve all agencies directly involved with determined efforts to ensure that the problem of out of school is addressed in proper way.

The federal government does not own a secondary school neither does the federal government be own primary schools aside the federal government colleges across the country, most of the secondary schools belong to States while the primary schools belong to local government.

“There is need to build synergy to mobilise traditional leaders, local government chairmen, State goverments and infact all stakeholders to ensure that we tackle this scourge,” Bobboyi explained.

Support of Commonwealth
UBEC Director Social Mobilisation, Bello Kagara said the Nigerian government needed the support of the Commonwealth of learning to commence the implementation of the pilot stage of the open school learning.


Confidence Okwuchi