By; ALEX UANGBAOJE, Kaduna
Following the high rate of Out of School Children, in the Nigeria, United Nations Children Fund, (UNICEF), has said that it is strengthening government system to deliver quality education with foundational and employability skills for learners.
Wose Euphrates, Chief of Education, UNICEF Nigeria, made this known when he visited the governors of Kano and Katsina state to show concern on the huge burden and the growing number of out of school children in the North West states despite the huge investments.
Nigeria’s figure of Out Of School Children, stands at 13.2 million with north having the highest.
According to Euphrates, “SDG data on out of school children, show Nigeria as worst in indicators, while the North West share the huge burden.
“The visit was to emphasize concerns on growing number of out-of-school-
children despite huge investments.
“Furthermore, with the demographic trends of Nigeria and the numbers of OOS especially in Kano. Kano has the largest proportion of children Out of School (OOS).
“It will be a wasted opportunity if children do not receive quality learning at the right age, time and environment,” Euphrates said.
She affirmed that the Education has already failed a generation of learners while assuring that UNICEF will support the government in advancing the reduction of out of school children.
Responding, Governor Aminu Bello Masari observed that figures on out of school children was alarming, with Katsina among lead states, and linked absence of education to the myriads of security challenges especially in the rural communities.
He decried the pattern of moving children across borders as beggars (Almijiri), and opined that
Katsina state was determined to provide education to the Almajiris within their natural environment as most sustainable to facilitate mainstreaming to formal sector.
He pledged to introduce entrepreneurship education at Integrated Quranic Schools while also promising to enhance family investment through promoting girl child education always.
On his part, Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State said the government was very pleased and agreed that the OOS phenomenon is not something that Kano or the Federation of Nigeria is proud of.
The Governor however disclosed plans to put a legislation in place that will prevent school aged children on the move not to settle.