By Ibukun Emiola
#Tracknigeria: The Federal Government on Thursday, in Ibadan, launched the Better Education Service Delivery for All (BESDA) programme, to mop-up the 272,847 Out-Of-School children in Oyo State.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Executive Secretary of Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) Dr Hamid Bobboyi, and Dr Lami Amodu, the representative of the Minister of Education Adamu Adamu, launched the programme on behalf of President Buhari in Ibadan.
Bobboyi, was also represented at the event by Malam Wadatau Madawaki, the Director, Department of Academic Services UBEC, Abuja
The BESDA programme is in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Education, UBEC, World Bank and Oyo State Government.
Bobboyi said it is imperative for the state and stakeholders to ensure that the proceeds of the 611 million dollars credit were used for the purpose they were meant for.
“I feel partially saddened that we are here launching BESDA, an operation that seeks to mop-up Out-Of-School children in our country, particularly in the North.
“Saddened, because I feel it is our collective failure to strategise and accord the education sector its deserved attention that led us to this situation.
“Situation where we have to resort to taking a huge World Bank Credit to solving this menace, which is a major challenge to the overall development and survival of the entire nation.
“It is a cancerous phenomenon which if not addressed, will lead to the collapse of our entire social system.
“What is currently being witnessed with regards to the wanton destruction of lives and property, as well as the unprecedented dislocation of the social system by different forms of insurgency, are already becoming a daily occurrence,” he said.
“We will certainly regret the outcome of our insincerity in more devastating manner than what we are currently experiencing with Boko Haram, cattle rustlers, road blocking militias and kidnappers,” Bobboyi said.
In his address, the National Project Coordinator, BESDA, Prof. Gidado Tahir, said that Nigeria had 13.2 million Out-Of-School children, the highest in sub-Saharan Africa.
“In this, we wish to call on states to critically identify their target group as they can be very many and then plan very well for them.
“Our advice is that your investment has to be wise by choosing appropriate strategies to reach out to the various out of school groups.
“Bringing them to school and creating the required environment by providing sufficient resources or inputs in order to keep them in school and ensure that effective learning is taking place,’’ Tahir said.
Also, Mrs Aderonke Makanjuola, the Executive Chairman of the Oyo State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) promised that Out-Of-School children in the state will be brought back to school.
“It is a sure hope that our dream to improve the lots of our children will be accomplished.
“If we are to succeed in laying the foundation for change and the eradication of extreme poverty by 2030, we must invest more in access to quality basic education for all.
“When we build new schools and improve the lots of these less-privileged children, we are building a safer and more prosperous world for us all,” she said.
Some of the educational associations represented at the event included the National Union of Teachers and the Parents Teachers Association in the state, lauded the government’s initiative.
According to them, the programme will go a long way in improving the standard of education in the state. (NAN)