By Elizabeth Uwandu
stakeholders have expressed dismay over the alleged statement of Mr Ahmed Boboyi , Executive Secretary, Universal Basic Education Commission, UBEC that Nigeria currently has 13.2million out-of-school children, against the initial figure of 10.5million.
Mr Boboyi who spoke through Bello Kaigara, Director Social Mobilisation, UBEC few months ago at the Northern Nigerian Traditional Rulers Conference on Out-Of-School Children in Abuja as reported by several media , while attributing the increase to Boko Haram insurgency explained that the 2015 Demographic Health Survey showed that the figure has since increased to 13.2million.
According to Mrs Yinka Ogunde, founder Concerned Educators& Parents Network, CPEN, who raised the question ” why a country like Nigeria would have about 13.2million out-of-school children, ‘60 percent of them could neither read in English language or their local language”.
Lamenting the situation, Princess Olayinka Dixion, Director, Project Manager and CEO, the PYDO Foundation for Education and Well being said it was saddening that Nigeria at this time still could not address the deficiencies in the education sector.
She noted that,”For this day and age (2018), these are sad, depressing statistics. It appears instead of getting better, it’s getting worse.
For Mr Joel Adeyemi, the neglect in funding and revamping basic education by the government has resulted in the high rate of mischief by the youths, and unless this trend was address, Nigeria would have many miscreants. His words, “We have not seen anything because we think countries that plan well for education don’t like Jeeps. The neglect is already manifesting e.g Yahoo Yahoo, cultism, area boys and girls, slay mama, gussy, crime, robbery, one chance just to mention a few. Where are the leaders in education like Baba Awolowo, Gani Fawehinmi? Just to explain more today my pastor said he was at ikoyi prison for Yuletide visit, 90% of inmates are young men/youths”. Adeyemi pointed.
On 60 percent of the out-of-school children inability to read in English or in their local language, Mrs Ireti Akinsanya a mother attributed it to the current trend where some graduates have difficulty in gaining employment. “This is serious! It’s disheartening to see a graduate that can not express himself. People are complaining that there are no jobs, when there are many graduates that can not be employed because they are not educationally fit for such jobs!
Most of these graduates do not have good foundation right from their primary schools! This,they push to secondary schools and carry to the tertiary institutions. Solutions have to be found urgently to tackle this disgraceful trend! Everyone has a role to play in finding lasting solutions to this problem! !
Corroboarting Mrs Akinsanya for urgent restructuring of the education, Tina Olubanke advised that,” I think communities in the rural areas can build community private schools. They can get communal land, volunteer laborers from the community, while members of the community can donate materials after completion. The royal fathers and chiefs can use their office to influence Corp members to work as teachers.”
It’s better than waiting for the government. Private schools can also help out by offering a few scholarships. We can’t keep toying with our future as a nation.” Olubanke affirmed.