The World Bank has approved the sum of 611 million dollars to support Nigeria in addressing the menace of out-of-school children, which recent statistics put at over 10.5 million across the nation.
This came as the Nigerian government on Tuesday flagged off the 2017/20198 Annual School Census exercise across the 36 states of the federation and Federal Capital Territory.
The Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, who kicked off the enumeration exercise in Abuja, stressed the imperative of data in planning for delivery of quality and all-inclusive education in the country.
Adamu explained that there would be simultaneous commencement of enumeration of all schools, pupils, teachers and facilities in the basic and post-basic school levels in 36 states and FCT.
He added that the census would provide reliable data that would lead to proper planning, management and administration of education in Nigeria.
Adamu announced at the event that Federal government has commenced geo-positioning of schools, saying this would help in getting the exact and accurate number of schools and validating the annual census school data collection.
He also disclosed that the Nigerian government would soon put the operational plan of the new Ministerial Strategic Plan for the development of education into action that also requires accurate and reliable data to implement.
“I will also urge for cooperation and full participation of the military, para-military and private schools, both registered and unregistered, almajiri centres, and integrated Koranic schools in this exercise so that we can explore and improve all school environments in order to begin to solve the problem of out-of-school children, “ he said.
Meanwhile, World Bank Education Specialist and Consultant, Mr Adebayo Solomon, speaking at the flag off ceremony, disclosed that the World Bank approved the sum of 611 million dollars to support Nigeria in tackling the menace of out-of-school children.
He said the gesture was to support the federal and state authorities in their efforts to foster inclusion and revive growth, in alignment with the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) of the Federal Government.
He said the 611 million dollars to Better Education Service Delivery for All (BESDA) Programme was aimed at bringing out-of-school children into the classroom, improve literacy, and strengthen accountability for results in basic education.
Solomon said the fund was also designed to support both the Federal and State Governments in generating credible and reliable data in the education sector.