Rate of Dropout of Girl Child on Increase, Says NCNE

Laleye Dipo in Minna

The National Commission for Nomadic Education (NCNE) has raised the alarm that the rate at which the girl child drop out from schools is frightening, adding that a recent survey carried out shows the South-eastern part of the country topping the chart.

The survey was recently concluded in the North-west, South-east and the North-east geo political zones of the country.

The Executive Secretary of the Commission, Prof. Bashir Haruna Usman, who disclosed this at the opening of a three-day sensitisation and mobilisation workshop for the Promotion of Nomadic Girl Child Education in Nigeria in Minna, Niger State Tuesday declined to give details of the statistics but said: “We are putting everything together. When we finish, we will let the world know.

“Findings from recent surveys and monitoring of schools by staff of the commission across the country have revealed that majority or significant number of dropouts and out-of-school children are girls.”

Prof. Usman added that educational backwardness was more prevalent among nomads because of what he described as ‘The centrality of child labour on part of girls, herding and milk hawking’ which he argued had made them to be recognised as ‘milk maids rather than school girls’.

He said education of females had been hampered by “socio-cultural, health, economic, religious, legal political and educational factors” adding that all hands must be on the deck to remove the bottlenecks.

To address the situation, Usman said the commission in partnership with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) had developed strategies to solve the problem part of which was the formation of “Mothers Association in 20 communities in Sokoto and Kebbi States as pilots”.

In addition, he said the school feeding programme in selected nomadic schools was also adopted “as a way of increasing enrolment and attendance of boys and girls in schools”, adding that the strengthening of school-based management committees had also been adopted as an “instrument of sensitisation and mobilisation”.

The workshop, Usman said, was carefully planned to accelerate the achievement of Education for All “and to promote girl child education among stakeholders and the nomads” in addition to “increase access and equity for nomadic pupils in basic education in terms of pupils enrolment attendance and progression”.

The Director, Social Mobilisation and Women Development in the commission, Alhaji Mohammed El- Nafaty, in an address said: “Completion and transition of girls in nomadic schools were abysmally low”, adding that participation of girls “dropped significantly at the upper primary levels”.

El-Nafaty therefore urged participants at the workshop to work out formula that would reduce the menace from the nomadic education system.

A communiqué is expected at the end of the programme.

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