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President seeks immediate action on uneducated children menace

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[FILES] Sadiya Umar Farouq. Photo: TWITTER/sadiyafarouq

The Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, and Social Development have been directed to coordinate the deployment of a national plan to address the issue of out-of-school children in the country.

President Muhammadu Buhari, who gave the directive while inaugurating the 18-member Presidential Steering Committee on Alternate School Programme (ASP) co-chaired by the Ministers of Humanitarian Affairs and Education at the State House, Abuja, stated that it was unacceptable seeing children abandon formal school for menial jobs in markets, streets, and workshops.

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He said the framework would ensure the inclusiveness of appropriate basic education for vulnerable children.

“To commence this special education initiative, emphasis should be given to, first provide a limited scope of subjects in Mathematics, English Language, Basic Science, and Social Studies. Gradually, the initiative will be scaled up to ensure the acquisition of relevant technical skills in the process that can enable the beneficiaries to participate in gainful economic activities,” he said.

Buhari noted that in view of “some United Nations agencies that report a disturbing level of out-of-school children estimated at 13 million,” the ministry had identified the critical need to further address literacy inclusiveness, especially among these susceptible children.

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He added: “While we continue to sustain our efforts on providing formal and conventional education through the activities of the Universal Basic Education Commission under the Federal Ministry of Education, it is still a common sight to notice children abandoning formal school to become apprentices in shops, workshops and markets, while many others choose to loiter at markets, become cart pushers and hawkers.”

The President reiterated his administration’s commitment to deal with poverty and put Nigeria on the path of development.

In her remarks, Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq, said the success of the programme “will be a turning point in our nation’s development history, as it will accelerate our drive towards sustainable development.”

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