By Felix Khanoba
Concerned over the inability of the ‘Education for Change: A Ministerial Strategic Plan (2016-2019)’ to deliver on its promise to drastically reduced the number of out-of-school children and reposition the education sector, the Federal Government says it has now found a formula to get the over 10 million kids not in school to the classroom in the next five years.
Sonny Echono, Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Education gave this hint at a retreat for stakeholders in the education sector in Abuja on Thursday.
He blamed socio-cultural and economic factors for the inability of the country to effectively tackle the menace of out-of-school children, saying that the new initiative will synergise the concurrent and exclusive list of education to achieve its goal.
The Permanent Secretary said particular attention would be channelled towards girls’ education to chart a better path for the sector.
“We should begin to attack the problem of girl- child education. This is because if you have a female child that is educated in a family, they will influence the other children and their behaviour in later life.
“The minister has said that in five years, the issue of out-of-school children in our country should get behind us.
“It is a collective responsibility and we must begin to reconsider policies that will address this,” he said.
The Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, had during the launch of the 2016-2019 plan about three years ago said “there are 11.4 million Nigerian children who are out-of-school, and the intention of this government is to see that by the end of four years, if it is possible, or by the end of any reasonable period of time all of them are in school.”
But speaking at the stakeholders conference in Abuja on Thursday, Adamu said the ministry had commenced dialogue with states to find lasting solution the various challenges confronting the implementation of Ministerial Strategic Plan (MSP).
“The most important MSP we have taken into consideration is the out-of-school children programme, the adult literacy, the development of capacity of teachers and development of quality of their services.
“The human capital development index listed Nigeria 152 out of 157.There is no way we are going out of this except by making education great and give it the needed funds,” he said.