Worried by the 10.5 million out of school children in the country, the Federal Government yesterday, said it would ensure the enrolment of 3 million out of school children by September 2015.
Minister of State for Education, Barr. Nyesom Wike, stated this when
Malala Yousafzai, paid him a visit in his office in Abuja.
He said because of the over 9 million out of school in the northern part of the country, the federal government is set to build over 300 almajiri schools in the region.
Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teenager shot in the head by the Taliban for championing the right of girls to education, is in Nigeria join in the campaign for the freedom of over 200 girls that were abducted by insurgents in April 2014.
Malala, urged the three tiers of government to stop trading blames on the state of education in the country but to see crisis in education as a national issue.
She also urged the federal government to ensure that the girls that escaped from the insurgent go back to school and provide security for them.
Malala who was accompanied by her father, said, “I am hoping that the three tiers of government would sit together and become united and they would consider the crisis in education as a national issue, especially on children that are out of school. They shouldn’t trade blame, 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 good education”.
She noted, “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 very insecure. I am hopeful that the girls are able to go back to school and they get full protection. I have a lot of expectations from the government. The girls are such in a big trauma and they need our supports in going back to school, health care and security. And hopefully I want to see those girls in school and hopefully I see those 200 girls being rescued.
“I know it is difficult for government to do things quickly but hopefully by the time I come back education would have improved in Nigeria”.
Wike, in his response said basic education though is not in the pore view of the federal government but due to the crisis in education, the federal government since 2010 has been giving its supports to basic education in the country.
According to him, “In Nigeria we run what is called the federal system, where we have the federal, states and local governments. And each of this tier of government has it constitutional role and the basic education is under the pore view of the state and local governments. What the federal government is doing is to give supports to our 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.
“So what the federal government did was to support the states government by establishing and building the almajiri schools in each of the state in North and the federal government has built nothing less than 180 of these schools and about 135 of these schools have been furnished. And by 2015 we would have built nothing less than 300 of such schools.
“The federal government has given over N139 billion to states government to improve basic education 2010 – 2014”.
In his pledge to Malala, he said, “We expect from now till next year that the basic education level , should have nothing less than 2 million of our children that are enrolled in school. I believe by 2015 Nigeria should be talking about 7 million instead of the present 10.5 million of out of school children. Once these 300 alimajiri schools are built, we would have nothing less than 2- 3 million children enrolled in schools”.
The 25 year old, Chief Executive Officer of Malala’s foundation, Shiza Shahid, said it is imperative for the federal government to take responsibilities and correct the crisis in the education sector in Nigeria.
An official of Malal foundation, Eason Jordan, decried the crisi in |Nigeria’s education sector saying that the country has one of the worst figures of out of school children in the world.
He said Nigeria has as low as 5% – 30% children attending school.
Chibok: Malala Tasks FG on 10.5m Out of School Children