Edo records lowest out-of-school children in Nigeria

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..as parents, teachers applaud Obaseki’s reforms in education sector on World Teachers’ Day

Edo State has recorded the least number of out-of-school children in Nigeria, a recent survey by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in collaboration with a number of international development partners, has shown.

The verdict is contained in the Multi Indicator Cluster Survey 2016-17 released by NBS and signed by its Director General and Statistician-General of the Federation, Yemi Kale.

The survey interpreted by Statisense, a data company, showed that Edo State had a total of 79,446 out of school children, the lowest in Nigeria, while Bauchi State with 1,239,759 leads the pack as the state with most out-of-school children in the country.

The survey lends credence to the impressive efforts of Edo State in the education sectors.

Some of the international agencies that partnered with the NBS on the survey are United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF), Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the World Bank and World Health Organisation (WHO), among other.

Other states where the figures of out-of-school children are high are Katsina with 873,633, Kano with 837,478 and Jigawa with 784,391. Other states at the end of the curve with Edo include Abia with 86,124 and Bayelsa with 86,778.

Meanwhile, as millions observe the teachers’ day across the world, parents and teachers in Edo State have applauded ongoing reforms by the Governor Obaseki-led administration to reposition the education sector in the state.

Governor Obaseki has continued to initiate reforms to overhaul the state’s education sector, including the Edo Basic Education Transformation (Edo-BEST) programme, rehabilitation of the Government Science and Technical College, Benin City; restructuring the College of Agriculture, Iguoriakhi, the Edo State Polytechnic, Usen and the College of Education, Abudu, among others.

Speaking to journalists in Benin City, the Edo State capital, Mr. Lucky Osato, a parent, said, “The reforms in the education sector by the governor are highly commendable. These programmes will return Edo State to her pride of place in the country. I am aware of what is going in the primary schools as well as the revamp of the technical college.”

Mrs. Judith Osifo, a teacher in Okaigben, Igueben Local Government Area, said “I am truly impressed with Governor Obaseki’s interest in improving our skills and boosting our capacity to deliver in the classroom. Where teachers in other states are complaining of not getting their salaries as and when du, we get ours and are still benefiting from the Edo-BEST programme. What more can we ask for?”

“Governor Godwin Obaseki has proven to us that he has our interest at heart with the training of 7,000 teachers in the basic education sector transformation programme. For me, there is no better way of celebrating me as a teacher than assisting me to gain new skills,” Mrs. Osifo added.

Commending teachers on World Teachers’ Day, Governor Obaseki said, “Teachers are special people and deserve to be celebrated for their immense contributions to human and societal development. Daily, they painstakingly groom, nurture and mould minds and equip generations with legally and socially approved practices, skills, norms and values.”