By Bashir Bello, Kano
Worried by the high rate of out of school children, a Non-Governmental Organization, Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP) in partnership with Malala Fund says it is embarking on an awareness campaign to address the trend.
The Executive Program Manager of LEDAP, Pamela Okoroigwe who stated this while addressing newsmen in Kano said the campaign was also to raise awareness in the state on the right of every child in the state to free, compulsory, quality and basic education.
Okoroigwe represented by Barr. Maryam Ahmad further decried the high rate of out of school children in the country which stands at 13.5 million.
According to her, “There are over 13.5 million children in Nigeria who are unable to access free and quality basic education, with the girl child in North Eastern states having a higher percentage of this figure. Crisis, insecurity, cultural and religious dispositions and poor funding have been limiting factors to quality education in these states.
“The emergence of the novel COVID-19 pandemic has further put a strain on child education. It is a known fact that schools in Nigeria remained closed throughout the COVID-19 lockdown. This situation has increased the number of children especially girls who are unable to access free, compulsory, quality and basic education.
“Against this backdrop, LEDAP in conjunction with Malala Fund is raising awareness on the right to free, compulsory and quality basic education in Nigeria.
“The project is aimed at providing solution to the low education enrollment and high rate of school drop out for children in Nigeria, and in the light of the Covid-19 pandemic; to mitigate its impact on the education of children in the state by ensuring that the Kano state government takes appropriate action to promote free and quality basic education for all, especially girls.”
She further called on the ministries of Education and Justice of each state to prioritize right to education of the child in their agenda and to guarantee that no child in the state is denied access to free, basic and quality education.
“The Government must bring back better by introducing gender responsive measures that will transform education system and address the barriers inhibiting girl child education in the state.
“LEDAP urges the government to commit resources to education through increased budget allocation and funding so as to ensure that no child is denied access to free basic education by any school and to drastically reduce the number of out of school children in Nigeria.
If this is done, there would be improved learning infrastructure, deployment and provision of incentives for qualified teachers and a massive enrolment of school children especially girls,” Okoroigwe however stated.