Nwosu expresses concern over 90,000 out-of-school children in Anambra
Senior Research Fellow, Institute of Development Studies, University of Nigeria (UNN), Enugu Campus, Dr. Ben Nwosu, has noted with displeasure the situation where 90,000 children are said to be out of school in Anambra.
Nwosu, who insisted that the situation had become disturbing, made the revelation, yesterday, in Awka, at the unveiling of the Data Management System by Evidence and Collaboration for Inclusive Development (ECID) in partnership with Christian Aid.
Speaking at the presentation of research tagged: Access Improvement To Basic Service Delivery Through Voice For The Most Marginalised Groups In Anambra And Kaduna States, Nwosu said the statistics were worrisome.
He argued that Anambra remained one of the educationally advantaged states in the country, as parents also claimed that they pay their wards’ fees despite the free education policy, especially at the secondary school level.
“It is more worrying when you go into the field and see the wide gap existing between the rural and urban locations. Maybe what exists in more developed parts of the state swallows those of the rural areas where you see dilapidated infrastructure with pupils running around due to absence of teachers,” he said.
He maintained that Anambra State should copy Kaduna model of school census of finding out existing infrastructure, manpower and general data in the education sector, which informed their subsequent interventions, planning and budgeting.
Responding, Executive Director of Hope Givers Initiative, Mrs. Onyeka Udegbunam, said the project had gone a long way in empowering stakeholders with adequate data to engage the government meaningfully.
In his presentation, Commissioner for Economic Planning, Budget and Development Partners, Mark Okoye, said data collation had encouraged global challenge, particularly in the view of its financial implications.
Okoye, who commended the organisers of the programme, expressed the hope that the findings from the workshop would assist the state government in policy formulation and data planning.
While assuring that it would engage relevant MDAs to address the concerns, he said: “The state keeps publishing its data, including GDP reports and Public Finance Management. That is why we are partnering with Christian Aid who built a portal for us which is one of the biggest achievements in the synergy.”