ENUGU, Nigeria (VOICE OF NAIJA)- The Kaduna State Universal Basic Education Board (Kaduna SUBEB) has begun a campaign to enrol 145,553 out-of-school children in schools under the World Bank-supported Better Education Service Delivery for All (BESDA) programme.
BESDA officer Esther Jibji disclosed this at opening a one-day stakeholders’ sensitisation on the enrolment of out-of-school children in Kaduna.
Ms Jibji explained that BESDA, which began in the state in 2019, was specifically designed to address the menace of out-of-school children.
She said the board had enrolled over 500,000 out-of-school children in school in the first phase of the programme, of which the National Population Commission has verified 312,785 children.
The officer added that the state had secured additional grants to return more out-of-school children to school, stressing the need for the stakeholders’ sensitization.
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“This is why we organised the sensitisation to solicit the support of parents and caregivers, religious and community leaders to ensure that every school-age child is enrolled in school.
“As you may have noticed, despite Kaduna SUBEB efforts to enrol all children in school, some children are still roaming the streets during school hours,” Ms Jibji explained.
She added: “Education for all is the responsibility of all. We need the support of all stakeholders to ensure that no child is left behind.”
The desk officer identified some out-of-school children as children roaming the streets, children from poor and vulnerable households, children with disabilities, girls, and nomadic children.
Ms Jibji said some children could be found on the streets, motor packs, and farms, while others were hidden in their houses due to disability.
She also mentioned that Kaduna SUBEB had established non-formal learning centres in some parts of Kaduna.
According to her, the measure is part of efforts to take learning opportunities to the doorsteps of children who could not attend formal schools.
Farida Ibrahim, education secretary of Kaduna North Local Government Education Authority, described the BESDA programme as “crucial” to addressing the problem of out-of-school children in the state.
Mr Ibrahim urged parents and caregivers to enrol their children in school to acquire the quality education needed to live a quality life and contribute to social development.
Also, Kabiru Lawal, acting director of the Social Mobilisation, Kaduna SUBEB, urged religious leaders to sensitise their followers during sermons in churches and mosques.
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Mr Lawal said primary one to three pupils were being supported with learning materials, including uniforms, under the programme.
Salisu Lawal, the director of planning and physical development at the education ministry, pointed out that the government needs the support of community stakeholders to succeed.
Mr Lawal urged community members and other stakeholders to contribute their quota to take children off the streets to schools where they can learn.
Usman Sani, the chairman of the School-Based Management Committee (SBMC), Kaduna South local government area, said the SBMC would work with community leaders to identify and enrol out-of-school children in school.
BESDA, a Programme for Result (P for R), was initiated by the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) with support from the federal ministry of education.
The programme began in 2019 with a $611 million loan from the World Bank, which the federal government gave 17 participating states as grants.