Out-of-school pupils: Government demands increased commitment from states

Temitope Mustapha, Abuja

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The Nigerian government has demanded increased commitment from States towards addressing the out-of-school challenge in the country.

This was a call made by a team of  the Federal Ministry of Education and the Universal Basic Education Commission who were in Gombe State on an advocacy visit to Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya to gain support for the successful implementation of the Better Education Service Delivery for All BESDA, programme.

The Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba, who led the team, called  on all States of the federation to re-double their efforts in supporting Federal Government’s initiatives at addressing Pillar 1 of the basic education sub sector’s Strategic Plan of Action , which focuses on increased access by all school aged children across the country.

Nwajiuba who applauded the efforts of various State Governments towards taking the vast majority of their citizens out of poverty, stressed that the visit was part of efforts to engaging state partners towards ensuring that they partner with the federal government on its renewed drive for quality basic education delivery.

The Executive Secretary of the Universal Basic Education Commission UBEC , Dr. Bobboyi noted that such efforts should begin  with the investment of  available resources in addressing the out of school Challenge.

Dr. Bobboyi, maintained that Gombe State has what it takes to tackle the challenge of out-of-school children within its domain within a minimal time frame.

The UBEC boss drew the attention of the State Government to the need for effective utilization of available UBE infrastructure especially the Girl’s Model Schools as well as JSS Vocational Centers.

He further urged the State to take active interest in implementing the BESDA programme by mobilizing its human and material resources for the sustainability of the programme especially in ensuring that all stakeholders are on the same page in the BESDA programme implementation.

Also speaking during the advocacy visit, the representative of the North-East geo political zone in the UBEC Governing Board, Dr. Danjuma Dabo reiterated  issues of out of school and the need to address the problem.

In his response, the Gombe State Governor lamented the effects of insurgency in the North East noting the need for the State Government and other stakeholders to increase  their efforts in addressing the security challenges that have affected the delivery of the Universal Basic Education delivery services in the region.

The Governor however pledged his commitment and noted that sooner than expected, Gombe will emerge as one of the states parading excellent indices on UBE delivery.

The advocacy to Gombe State is part of Federal Ministry of Education and UBEC’s strategic engagement with high level basic education stakeholders towards highlighting areas that require prompt attention especially by high-level state and non-state actors whose inputs and commitment is critical to effective UBE delivery in the country.

Nnenna.O