From Yakubu Mustapha, Minna
The Niger State Government and UNICEF have completed plans to partner the media to begin the 2018 enrollment drive campaign as a strategy for reducing the number of out of school children in Niger state.
Niger State currently has 513,680 (3.09%) out of school children.
The State Chairman of Niger State Universal Basic Education Board (NSUBEB) Alhaji Alhassan Muhammad Bawa Niworu made this disclosure at a One- day Media Conference for 2018 Enrollment Drive Campaign at the Emirs Palace in Minna.
He said that records indicate that 13.2 million children of primary school age and JSS are out of school (DHS 2013) in Nigeria, adding that out of this figure Niger state has its share of above mentioned statistics.
He was represented by the Director of School Services, Idris Alhassan Ketso who appealed to all stakeholders to join hands with the relevant agencies and government to fight the scourge of out of school children in the country so as to return them back to school.
He explained that the state Governor Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello had expressed concern over the huge number of children missing education in the state and in the country who are largely from northern Nigeria that required holistic approach.
In his remarks, UNICEF Communication Officer, Malam Rabiu Musa expressed satisfaction over the sustainable partnership with the Niger State Government and the vital roles of the traditional rulers in the region in ensuring the success of the program in the country.
Musa assured of UNICEF commitment in providing technical and financial support in the state.
He decried that 60% out of school children are girls and majority from Northern Nigeria hence the traditional conference in Kaduna in October this year.
He told the meeting about the objectives of the state campaign to include; plan to coordinate the 2018 enrollment drive campaign in the state, ensure involvement of all major stakeholders especially the media.
Others according to him, were to ensure that out of school children are enrolled in to basic education schools and to conduct monitory activities on enrollment drive, review strategies base on findings and submit report to appreciate authority.
The event was attended by media practitioners, traditional ruler and some civil society members where the traditional ruler assured of maximum support to ensure the success of the scheme in the state.