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How to check Nigeria’s out-of-school children problem

Stakeholders in the Nigerian basic education sector has advocated for holistic and inclusive education to halve Nigeria’s growing out-of-school children currently put at 13.2 million across the six geopolitical zones of the country.

The call was made at the human development initiatives (HDI) Nigeria special training program on monitoring basic education projects in Lagos State tagged, ‘OneDay Tracking Campaign’ (ODTC) of education stakeholders at the grassroots level made up of artisans and other professionals who are also members of School-Based Management Committee (SBMC).

Participants at the workshop were drawn from 11 local councils across Lagos State, including members of the SBMC.

The programme is about equipping participants not to leave the battle against checking out-of-school children in Nigeria to the government alone by contributing their quota through supporting efforts at returning the children to school.

Olufunso Owasanoye, the executive director, HDI, said stakeholders in the sector, especially community leaders must rally around governments at state and federal to halt and reduce the growing number of out-of-school children in Nigeria.

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According to Owasanoye, it is important for stakeholders at the grassroots to collaborate with the government on efforts aimed at returning the children back to school, thereby averting the looming dangers of such pupils staying off schools.

Owasanoye added that the communities through their various groups must be willing to support such children with basic items needed to integrate back into schools.

She stated further that the support to the government to halt out-of-school children includes reporting school administrators demanding unapproved fees, which has been identified as one of the issues discouraging poor parents from taking their children to schools.

Odeyemi Richard, the team lead for Kosofe, said the growing number of out-of-school children in Nigeria was of concern to all stakeholders in the sector.

According to him, the government should do more to ensure inclusive education in Lagos state.

Jim James, one of the participants from Somolu, said as monitors they work round the clock to ensure the Lagos State Universal Basic Education (LASUBEB) goal of leaving no goal around is achieved.

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