The number of out-of-school children in the country which stood at 10.1 million in 2019,reduced drastically to 6.946 million in 2020,the federal government has said.
Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, who disclosed this,Thursday,in Abuja,at the annual Ministerial press briefing on the ministry's activities in 2020, attributed the development to the number of measures undertaken by government to ensure enrollment of children.
According to him,the sum of $611 million secured through the World Bank credit facility to support Universal Basic Education (UBE), recorded a massive enrollment of out-of-school children in 17 states.
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Adamu,who also disclosed that efforts of the National Association of Proprietors and School Owners of Nigeria,NAPSON, alone saw to the enrollment of one million children, also noted that 900,000 Nigerians were "taken off the shelve" of adult illiterates in 2020.
The minister said more out-of-school children would be enrolled in school in 2021, adding that $500 million loan was secured from World Bank credit facility to drive the Adolescent Girls Initiative for Learning and Empowerment (AGILE) programme, to ensure girls were taken off the streets, trained and empowered to live normal and quality lives.
He said:"So far, we have launched the BESDA in ten states of Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Ebonyi, Kano, Kebbi, Oyo, Yobe, Niger and Zamfara, he added.
"As today, we have recorded impressive school enrolment figures in 17 states of the federation where BESDA is being implemented. I can however tell you that through the BESDA iniyiative, we have reduced the figure of Out of School Children from 10.1 million since May last year down to 6.946, 328 million."
Speaking on government's efforts at ensuring academic stability in the nation's universities, Adamu,who said the federal government through the Tertiary Education Trust Fund,TETFund, committed about N400 billion to the development of Infrastructure in tertiary institutions across the country,berated Academic Staff Union of Universities,ASUU,and other associations within the university system of not reciprocating her investment in education.
According to him, the said amount was different from the N1.3 trillion the present administration spent on capital expenditure in the nation tertiary institutions.
Hear him:"During my briefing in May last year, I told you that the Administration of President Muhammed Buhari has committed a total of N1.3 trillion of capital expenditure in our tertiary institutions. In the last one year, TETfund has committed a total of over three hundred an ninety five billion to the development of infrastructure in tertiary institutions. This is aside from some budgetary allocations and revitalization funds to universities."
The Minister stated that in the last five years, Buhari's administration has invested approximately N1.7 trillion in tertiary institutions with the universities taking two third of the total sum.
He lamented that despite of the huge commitment by the administration, ASUU has been on strike for almost a year over the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS) but however excited that the strike has ended.
Speaking on the revitalization of the teaching profession policies as approved and its take- date, the Minister said, "Let me say that there will be no uniform take-off date for all the policies.
According to him, the effective dates of other policies will be announced subsequently after the submission of the report of the National Coordinating Committees.