UNICEF Commences Enumeration Of Out-of-School Children in Bauchi

UNICEF Commences Enumeration Of Out-of-School Children in Bauchi

Segun Awofadeji in Bauchi

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in collaboration with the

Bauchi State Universal Basic Education Board (BASUBEB) has commenced house-to-house enumeration of out-of-school children targeting getting as many children as possible into school during the current academic session.

THISDAY reports that In July 2023, UNICEF Bauchi Field Office in collaboration with other stakeholders conducted a media field trip and a media dialogue on the issue of out-of-school children (OOSC) in the state.

The activities highlighted the risks of having many children who are not in school in the state; the approaches to tackling the problem and the need for multi-stakeholder collaboration on the issue.

Since then, the Bauchi State government and UNICEF have strengthened the collaboration to address the problem.

Speaking on ‘Mapping Out-of-School-Children,’ in the state during the training of the enumerators held at the Federal Polytechnic, Bauchi, yesterday, the Officer-in-Charge/Chief of Field  Office, UNICEF Nigeria, Bauchi Field Office, Clement Adams, said the mapping activity will enable the state to know the actual number of children that are out of school, for effective planning.

He said that the mapping is a comprehensive household survey for children towards actualizing the state’s strategic plans to reduce the number and rate of out-of-school children as well as increase public participation and respond to the global targets of achieving Education For All (EFA) and Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG4) targets.

Adams also explained that the exercise is geared towards obtaining information on out-of-school children and the underlying reasons, adding that it would ensure gathering adequate information that will inform its decision-making for education planning, especially for the marginalized and vulnerable children in the state.

According to him, “During the commencement of the 2023/2024 academic session, UNICEF supported the state to conduct enrolment drive campaign across the state, and so far, about 18,900 pupils have enrolled (new entrants/returned) and the number is expected to increase after the validation of the enrolment drive campaign, when the final figures will be available”.

He also explained that “The stratified cluster sampling design (SCSD) was adopted for the OOSC mapping because it always gives a better representative sample. The SCSD is a combination of stratified random sampling and cluster sampling methods.

“This SCSD involves the stratification of the population while using cluster sampling to select samples independently from each stratum. The 20 LGAs of Bauchi State are the strata and each stratum is subdivided into primary schools (clusters). Samples of five primary schools (clusters) were selected from each LGA using one-stage cluster sampling with optimum allocation.

“We believe that this activity will be integral to further fine tuning our approaches to addressing the menace of OOSC in Bauchi State. The state government and UNICEF have trained the enumerators on the tools and the modalities to ensure that the mapping activity yields the desired results.”

In his remarks, the Education Officer, UNICEF Nigeria Bauchi Field Office, Mr. Ralph Aiyedipe, said that the 325 enumerators trained by UNICEF have been deployed to work across the 20 local government areas within the catchment communities of the state.

According to him, “the mapping exercise which will run for seven days is particularly crucial, as it is coming after a multi-partner enrollment drive which aimed to get as many children as possible into school during the current academic session.

“UNICEF and the Bauchi State government is working to conduct the mapping of out of school children in the state across local government areas in state to enable stakeholders take a stock of the number of OOSC in the state”, he further stated.

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