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FG deplores low education ranking

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Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba


The Federal Government, yesterday, described as worrisome and unacceptable, the rating of the country as having the highest number of out-of-school children on the continent.

It warned that failure by stakeholders to properly address the situation could hamper the nation’s ability to produce the manpower needed to compete with the rest of the world in 21st century global economy.

Minister of State for Education Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba stated this at the official flagging-off ceremony of the Better Education Service Delivery for All (BESDA) programme in Katsina state.

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BESDA is a World Bank-assisted project in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Education, among other stakeholders.
Nwajiuba listed some of the issues hampering the development of education in the country as infrastructure decay, inadequate number of qualified teachers and poor instructional facilities.

He said: “Education is critical for national development as it is the only way we can produce adequate manpower to run the country.

“For any country to develop, it must have a well-equipped education system that prepares its people with adequate knowledge to enable them take competitive advantage in the 21st century world economy.

“It is in light of this that we are here to launch BESDA in Katsina State.

“It is a programme that will ensure better life for all our children, and the cardinal objective is to increase equitable access, improve literacy and strengthen accountability for results at the basic education level.

“The 17 states that are the focus of this are drawn from seven in the Northwest, six in the Northeast and one each from each of the other geo-political zones.”

He said further: “Katsina State is the second highest in ranking of out-of-school children in Nigeria and this is worrisome to all of us. There is much to fear if a single child is out of school not to talk about the millions of children that we are talking about in Nigeria.

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“We want to ensure that all out-of-school children are back to school which is not only a moral obligation but a productive investment that will guarantee that our country will have sustainable manpower.

“We are poised to do our best in order overcome this challenge as the programme has already enrolled over a million children.”

Governor Aminu Masari said the state government has strengthened basic education in terms of employment of adequate education teachers.

According to him, “A total of 3,753 teachers were employed to boost the quality of education in addition to 5000 S-Power teachers recruited to enhance the basic sector of education.

“The effort made in this sector has improved the basic and secondary school education. The performance of Katsina State students in secondary school examination from 2015 to 2020 has significantly improved from only 19 per cent to 72.2 per cent in 2020.”

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