Maryam Abeeb, Abuja
The Federal Govt has secured N220 billion loan from the World Bank for the implementation of Better Education Service Delivery for All (BESDA) programme in seventeen states.
The government said 13 states from both the North West and North East as well as Oyo, Ebonyi and Rivers state will benefit from the loan.
It noted that the loan would be given to the states as grant to enable them address the challenges of out-of-school children as well as strengthen basic education.
Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba disclosed this at the launch of the programme in Yola, the Adamawa state capital .
The minister, in a statement by the ministry’s Deputy Director, Press and Public Relations, Bem Gong, in Abuja, said the objective of the BESDA programme is to increase equitable access for out-of-school kids, improve literacy and strengthen accountability at the basic education level.
He said the states were picked based on the prevalence of the number of kids that are out-of-school.
The minister said the federal government began the implementation of the BESDA programme in 2018 at the federal level.
He added that key activities at the federal level to kick-start implementation of the programme by the focus states have been completed by the government.
Nwajiuba said that benefitting states are expected to commence implementation of the programme in line with specific steps and guidelines provided under the project.
He said Adamawa state has successfully commenced the implementation process of the BESDA project.
According to him, ensuring that out-of-school children are in school is not only a moral and legal obligation but also a productive investment that will guarantee the future of “our children as enshrined in the Child Rights Act of 2003.”
Adamawa state Governor, Ahmadu Fintiri commended the efforts of the federal government for bringing the BESDA programme to the state.
Fintiri disclosed that he directed the implementation of the programme two months after assumption of office to show the enthusiasm of the state towards the programme.
The governor said that a strong implementation team, which included traditional and religious leaders in all the local governments, had been put in place to ensure the success of the programme.
According to the governor, about 50, 000 children have already been taken-off the streets in the state.
“The training of teachers otherwise known as facilitators for the program has already been completed. Efforts are on to integrate the amajiri and tsangaya systems into the BESDA program,” the governor said.
He added that special consideration and arrangements will be made in the programme for the girl-child.