May 18, 2024

NEDC moves to reduce secondary school dropout, improve students’ performance

NEDC moves to reduce secondary school dropout, improve students’ performance

By Charly Agwam – Bauchi

The NorthEast Development Commission (NEDC) has initiated a programme to reduce the number of post-primary dropouts due to the decline in secondary school enrollment in the subregion which stands at 15 percent, one of the lowest in the country.

The MD/CEO of NEDC, Mohammed Goni Alkali stated this at the launching of the
Accelerated Senior Secondary Education Programme (ASSEP) in Bauchi on Saturday.

Mohammed Alkali lamented that while
primary education completion level in the subregion is 85 per cent, secondary school enrolment is very poor at 15 per cent, the second worst nationally.

He attributed this to the challenges in the post-primary education segment, citing JAMB UTME applications and admissions into tertiary institutions in 2019 where northeast students’ performance was one of the poorest in the country.

He further noted that nationally, the NE subregion has the lowest number of teachers and the highest percentage (55% of those available) are without literacy skills.

“The Accelerated Senior Secondary Education Programme (ASSEP) we have gathered here to launch today is an intervention focused on addressing a particular challenge in our region’s education system. It will provide effective support where the capacity of conventional schooling arrangements is limited for our teeming beneficiaries.

“As we embark on this critical mission today, we stand at a vital crossroads in our history that signifies our deep commitment to develop and support the children and youth of the North-East to grow, develop, and compete with the best across the world in various fields, excel and contribute to further development of our states, region, country, continent and humanity in the years and decades to come.

“We are here today for a landmark event in the history of our Region, the North-East. As modest as this occasion may be, we recognize that it marks the beginning of an opportunity to uplift the lives and livelihoods of our people, and indeed, their socio-cultural and economic position in years and decades to come,” he noted.

He also said that the challenges in the post-primary education segment include weak quality indices (infrastructure, personnel and student disposition) and a wide demand/supply gap driven by economic and cultural factors.

Explaining further, he said that the quality and scale of post-primary education (sound secondary education and high completion rates) are major drivers of human capital development.

According to him, the Accelerated Senior Secondary Education Programme (ASSEP) seeks to boost the post-primary education rating across the NE region through 3 major objectives of improved enrolment into tertiary institutions, skills development and elevation of teacher quality.

He also noted that ASSEP Key Delivery Pillar is to raise awareness about after-school possibilities and the potential for diligent students to become successful and prominent contributors to the NE Region and Nigeria.

Vanguard reports that ASSEP will pay special focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and communication, which foster creativity and critical thinking; motivating and inspiring young people to generate new technologies and ideas to learn from inquiry-based tasks.

ASSEP main components will include Quiz Competitions; Examination coaching (one ASSEP Centre in each of the 18 Senatorial Districts) will be designated as “NEDC Centre of Excellence in Senior Secondary Education” to organize and hold regular tutorials, especially for students enrolled as candidates in WAEC, NECO and JAMB examinations); Virtual instructions, and teacher quality upgrades.