World Bank earmarks $611 million to tackle Nigeria’s out-of-school children
Govt kicks off 2017/2018 yearly school census
The World Bank has approved $611 million to support Nigeria in addressing the menace of out-of-school children, which recent statistics put at over 10.5 million nationwide.
This came as the Federal Government yesterday flagged off the 2017/2018 yearly school census exercise across the 36 states of the federation and Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
World Bank Education Specialist and Consultant, Mr. Adebayo Solomon, at the flag-off ceremony, disclosed that the gesture was to support the federal and state authorities in their efforts to foster inclusion and revive growth, in alignment with the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) of the Federal Government.
He said the $611 million to Better Education Service Delivery for All (BESDA) programme was aimed at bringing out-of-school children into the classrooms, improve literacy, and strengthen accountability for results in basic education.
Solomon said the fund was also designed to support both the federal and state governments in generating credible and reliable data in the education sector. He noted that many states were not able to conduct yearly school census because they did not prioritise it, saying with the project the World Bank is doing with the Ministry of Education, there is now money available for each of the state to be able to do it.
“We are working with the National Bureau of Statistics to ensure that the data are verified. The more you continue to publish the data and it is becoming accurate, there is a bonus that is given to you. There should not be challenge in respect of collecting the data. States need to be on top of it and proactive,” he said.
Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, who kicked off the enumeration exercise in Abuja, stressed the imperative of data in planning for delivery of quality and all-inclusive education in the country.Adamu explained that there would be simultaneous commencement of enumeration of all schools, pupils, teachers and facilities in the basic and post-basic school levels in 36 states and FCT. He added that the census would provide reliable data that would lead to proper planning, management and administration of education in Nigeria.
Adamu, who stated that the Federal Government had commenced geo-positioning of schools, said this would help in getting the exact and accurate number of schools and validating the yearly census school data collection.
He lamented that some state governments, agencies of government and private schools had failed to comply effectively with the enumeration exercise in the previous years, appealing to them to diligently adhere to the guidelines so as to get the data right. He also disclosed that the Federal government would soon put the operational plan of the new Ministerial Strategic Plan for the development of education into action, which the minister said requires accurate and reliable data to implement.
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