By Adeola Badru
IBADAN—THE Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, yesterday, called for strengthening of the quality of basic education in order to address the challenge of alarming out-of-school children menace.
The minister, represented by the Director of Basic Secondary Education, Federal Ministry of Education, Abuja, Dr. Lamin Amodu, said this during the launch of Better Education Service Delivery for All, BESDA, programme in Ibadan, Oyo State.
The minister, who said education was critical to national development, said no nation could rise above the level of its educational development.
Adamu said: “With an estimated 13.2 million children out-of-school, Nigeria has the highest number of the out-of-school children in sub-Sahara Africa. For us to address the challenge adequately, we must strengthen the quality of basic education in Nigeria by confronting head-on those factors that deny our children access to basic education.”
The minister commended the World Bank for initiating the BESDA project and the provision of $611 million to support the Federal Government in strengthening Universal Basic Education as well as addressing the first pillar of the Ministerial Strategic Plan, MSP, 2016 – 2019 on out-of-school children.
In his remarks, Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State, represented by the Deputy Governor, Otunba Moses Adeyemo, commended the Federal Ministry of Education and the Universal Basic Education Commission for ensuring the provision of quality education at all levels.
He assured the Federal Government that the state would put in place all necessary mechanism and machinery to ensure the successful implementation of BESDA.
On her part, the Executive Chairman, Oyo State Universal Basic Education Board, Mrs. Makanjuola Aderonke said all hands must be on deck to bring out-of-school children to school.
Mrs. Aderonke said: “Most of these children are exposed to drugs, criminal activities and pregnancies early in life. These are pathetic experienced that should not cobtinue. This segment of children poses tremendous challenges to attaining the Universal Basic Education, UBE, goals, the Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs, as well as other notable international conventions and protocols.”