Group Laments 10.5 Million Out-of-School Children in Nigeria

Ilorin — A civil society organisation, which focuses on the protection of education in emergency situations and keeping schools and students safe in Nigeria, the Brain Builders Youth Development Initiative (BBYDI), has lamented that the number of out-of-school children in Nigeria stood at 10.5 million.

The Director of the organisation, Mr. Abideen Olasupo, made the disclosure in Ilorin yesterday at a press conference to mark the 2022 Global Action Week for Education (GAWE).

He, however, called on the government to take more proactive measures to improve security within and around schools to arrest growing number of out-of-school children in Nigeria.

Olasupo stated that attacks on schools and students are a threat to the realisation of the Sustainable Development Goal 4 which he said focuses on ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promotes lifelong opportunities for all.

He added that number of children being prevented from accessing education was on the increase due to partial and total closure of schools occasioned by attacks on schools and abduction of students.

The group, working in partnership with the Kwara State Ministry of Education and Ford Foundation, urged the government to provide safe and accessible learning environments for children in emergency situations, especially in isolated schools and vulnerable areas where attackers can get away easily, saying: “Children and young people are our greatest assets; we must, therefore, provide a safe environment where they can acquire education and skills they need to realise their potential.”

Olasupo also said teachers should be protected, adequately trained and remunerated, adding that the government should organise regular training for teachers and students on what to do during emergency situations.

According to him, “In the event of an attack on schools leading to destruction of school facilities, the government should ensure quick fixing of these facilities, as well as increase funding for education.

“Bullying has been identified as a form of violence that makes schools unsafe for children. We, therefore, call on the government to implement policy and take actions that would end bullying and other related vices at schools. Schools must also have security plan and survey.”

The group, which commended efforts of the state government at making schools and students safe in the state, said ensuring security in schools and among students is the responsibility of every stakeholder.

“Keeping our schools safe should not be seen as the duty of the government alone. We all have a role to play-community and religious leaders, security agencies, civil society organisations, people with special needs, parents, and community-based groups must all get involved,” he stated.


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