Paul Obi in Abuja
The federal government yesterday declared that the Boko Haram insurgency has completely displaced the North-east geo-political zone educationally, leaving behind deep consequences for the region in the future.
The Executive Secretary, Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), Dr Hamid Bobboyi, stated this in Abuja at a two-day forum on Marketplace on Civil Society and Government Partnership organised by UBEC, Education Sector Support Programme in Nigeria (ESSPIN)and the United Kingdom Department for International Development (UKAID).
According to Bobboyi, the Boko Haram insurgency and the destruction that has characterised their activities, have left severe consequences in the educational sector within the region.
He said: “In spite of vast resources the commission and the federal government have injected into the basic education sub-sector, the demand for increased access to quality basic education in Nigeria keep increasing due to vast population and other challenges.
“There are said to be 10.5 million out-of-school children in the country with regional disparities in favour of boys and girls in the northern and southern part of the country respectively.”
Bobboyi maintained that “the North-east has been utterly displaced educationally due to Boko Haram insurgency. So there is an ever increasing need for participatory approach to solve the existing and emerging needs and challenges.
“While we pursue such educational goals, it is also worthy to pursue them in such a manner that allows for participation of the diverse interest groups involving government, IDPs, civil society, the private sector and others,” UBEC Executive Secretary stressed.
Also, Dr. Sulleiman Adediran, an independent education consultant, stated that “ensuring acquisition of appropriate levels of literacy, numeracy, manipulative, communication and life skills as well as ethical, moral and civic values remains critical to achieving national education goals.”
Adediran further called for drastic reduction of “incidence of drop-out from formal school system, through improved relevance, quality and efficiency.”
ESSPIN Lead Specialist, Community Engagement and Learners Participation, Hajia Fatima Aboki, added that given the fragile nature of civil society and government in the education sector, there was need to nurture and support the collaboration for optimum results in the sector.
Aboki harped on the need for stakeholders to strengthen capacity in attaining the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) particularly achieving goal 4 and ensure inclusive and equitable quality education for all children.