Home News Chibok: Malala Tasks Jonathan On 10.5m Out-of-School Children

Chibok: Malala Tasks Jonathan On 10.5m Out-of-School Children


The 17-year-old Pakistani education rights campaigner, Malala Yousafzai, has tasked the federal government to step up efforts at reducing the number of out of school children in Nigeria, currently estimated at 10.5million by the United Nations.

She also bemoaned the continued incarceration of over 200 Chibok schoolgirls abducted by the Boko Haram sect in Borno State, saying government should do everything within its power to free them from the abductors and make education safe and pleasurable for children.

She urged leaders at the three tiers of governance to desist from the blame game over whose responsibility it was to provide basic education, noting that they ought to work in synergy to boost basic education delivery.

Young Malala said this on Monday, when she, in company of her father, Ziauddin Yousafzai and members of her foundation paid a visit to the Minister of State for Education, Nyesom Wike, under whose purview basic education falls.

Coincidentally, the United Nations (UN) has set aside July 14 as a day for Malala.

“Specifically, I want to highlight the issues of the girls who were abducted and the girls who escaped, they are out of school now, there is no security for them and they are feeling insecure and so what should the education ministry do for them.

“Especially issues of children that are out of school.  They shouldn’t blame it on each other,they should sit down together because this is the future of this country and if they want the future of this country to be bright and shining  then they should increase the efforts they are making on education and they should increase the budgetary allocation to education.

“As much as it can be increased. Hopefully by the time I come back to this country, I hope there would be zero number of out of school children in Nigeria.  No child should be deprived of getting education and I am hopeful that the girls that escaped from the abduction are able to go to school and they get full protection. I have a lot of expectations from the government.

Minister of State for Education, Nyesom Wike in a remark said government was targeting enrolment of additional 2million children by September 2015 when the next academic year would be rounding up.[eap_ad_2] 

He noted that there had been concerted efforts by the government to reduce the out-of-school children in Nigeria, which accounted for the injection of over N139 billion between 2011 and 2014 into the sector by the current administration.

Wike also explained to the visiting delegation that Nigeria runs a federal system of government which constitutionally places the responsibility of basic education delivery at the shoulders of states and local government councils.

He said despite this, federal government’s intervention would be in form of support to build Almajiri schools in each of the states in the North.

This has seen nothing less than 180 of these schools built and about 135 of them have been furnished and by 2015 nothing less than 300 of such schools would have been built.

“What the federal government does is to give support to the states government in order to improve the basic education in the country.

“That takes me to the issue of the statistics of 10.5 million out of school children in Nigeria. And out of this figure we have about 9 million in a particular region, that is northern part of this country,” he said.

Wike, however, said he doubted the 10.5million out of school children’s figure estimated by the United Nations and speculated by the international community.

“I doubt the number of 10.5 million out of school children because there is no basis, but we are assuming, let us believe it is 10.5million. Basically, we are doubting the statistics of United Nations, but however we don’t want to debate on it too much so let us work on the figure.

“I believe by 2015 Nigeria should be talking about 7 million of out of school children.

“We expect from now till next year that at the basic education level, we should have nothing less than 2 million out of school children that have been enrolled in school, from now till 2015,” he stated. (Leadership)[eap_ad_3]

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