Segun Awofadeji in Bauchi
The Bauchi State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) has attributed the out-of-school syndrome to socio-economic challenges, religious misconceptions and socio-cultural beliefs.
The Chairman, Professor Yahaya Yero also cited insurgency as in the case of the north-east, and loss of confidence especially the preponderance of educated but unemployed youth as other factors.
Yero, who made this known at the launch of the state-wide 2016/2017 Enrolment Drive Campaign at Yaba Village in Gamawa Local Government Area, stressed the need for the government to sensitise the public on the importance of enrolling children in school.
According to him, about 8.7 million children nationwide are said to be out of school, which he hinged to the National Enrolment Drive Framework of the Federal Ministry of Education.
“The situation is more serious in the northern states, especially in the North-east region to which Bauchi State belongs,” he said hence the state government’s sensitization of the public on the need to enroll children in school.
The SUBEB chairman explained that it is the failure to enroll children in school that gave birth to social vices which are exhibited by youths in every nook and cranny of the society.
To provide free and compulsory basic education, he said the state government has awarded contract worth N3.6 billion for the construction/renovation of classrooms and supply of furniture to schools across the state.
He stated that the government has also embarked on training and re-training of teachers, head teachers, as well as providing support to School Based Management Committees (SBMC) through collaborative efforts with other development partners.
Governor Mohammed Abubakar had while launching the campaign, described education as a crucial factor of ending global poverty, adding that with education, employment opportunities are broadened, income levels increased, and material and child health is improved.
Represented by the Special Adviser on Education, Mohammed Abdullahi, the governor explained that government is geared towards re-shaping the entire education sector especially to improve access as more schools will be established and thousands will be renovated to give opportunity for enrolling school aged children.
He recalled that in 2013/2014 UNICEF conducted school mapping in only six LGAs in the state namely, Alkaleri, Ganjuwa, Shira, Ningi, Toro and Zaki, which covered 201 selected schools including primary and junior secondary schools.
Accordingly, the exercise had 696 catchment communities across the six LGAs with a total of 232,696 children within the age-group of three and 18 years comprising 128,518 male and 104,178 female, while a total of 58,530 children- 31,010 male and 26,620 female- were listed as out of school.
He therefore directed all local government councils in the state to conduct enrolment campaign to ensure that school aged children in their areas are enrolled in schools.