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Government goes for action plan as insecurity pushes 18m children out of school

By Collins Olayinka, Abuja
23 August 2022   |   4:51 am
The raging insecurity in Nigeria has pushed about 18 million children out of school and forced approximately 11,536 schools to close their gates to students since December 2020..

The raging insecurity in Nigeria has pushed about 18 million children out of school and forced approximately 11,536 schools to close their gates to students since December 2020, according to Head of Secretariat on Financing Safe Schools (FSS), Halima Illiya.

Speaking yesterday, in Abuja, at the national stakeholders’ engagement forum on financing safe schools, with the theme, ‘Financing safe schools in Nigeria: Issues and strategic options’, she revealed that efforts are ongoing to launch a national action plan on safe school financing next month.

Her words: “As part of this commitment and to stem increasing attacks on education, it became necessary to develop a national plan that will incorporate state-level plans, as well as Federal Government’s sectoral plans with emphasis on ensuring adequate budgetary allocation to create safe learning and teaching environment and restoring confidence in the education system.”

She hinted that in order to guarantee the success of the initiative, several activities had been held with various agencies of government, including the military and other security agencies, Ministry of Education, governors and development partners.

Illiya stressed that the stakeholders’ forum was another vital step in the process to harvest experiences, inputs and suggestions of key stakeholders to develop a robust national document supportive of every citizen.

In his remarks, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance (Special Duties), Shehu Aliyu Shinkafi, said the closure of schools had led to Nigeria being declared as having the highest out-of-school children.

“This crisis led to the High-level Forum on Financing Safe Schools – Creating Safe Learning Communities held in April 2021, which resulted in the Abuja Compact 2021. The ministry, as part of its commitment at the summit, constituted a steering committee and secretariat for the Financing Safe Schools to engage critical stakeholders in the quest to develop and launch a national plan for Financing Safe Schools, thus, valued action plans and strategy papers from relevant critical stakeholders at the federal level to harness and aggregate state level.”