Buhari’s aide gives reason for rising out-of-school children number
The Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari, on Social Investment, Maryam Uwais, on Thursday, said there were several factors responsible for the growing rate of out-of-school children.
According to the United Nations Education Fund, about 10.5 million of the country’s children aged 5-14 years are not in school. Only 61 percent of 6-11 year-olds regularly attend primary school and only 35.6 percent of children aged 36-59 months receive early childhood education.
She said the focus on school infrastructure rather than getting out-of-school children from the streets and enrolling them in schools was one of the factors.
While admitting that infrastructure to accommodate pupils and students was also critical in the education sector, she said it was important for the government to address poverty and other critical challenges.
Uwais, who spoke on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Thursday, said that some elected officials preferred to take on visible projects like infrastructure rather than tackling existential challenges like out-of-school children, and poverty, among others.
Read Also: With 20m out-of-school children, Nigeria preparing for future Boko Haram ; Obasanjo
“We have a population that is growing much faster than our economy and we are not really targeting those issues that are increasing the numbers, there are so many disparities. We need to be more strategic about what it is that is causing these numbers,” she said.
“So, there are many reasons and I think the government is trying to put all these together. We should be more holistic about how we handle these issues. I agree with you that the numbers are large but there are many issues as I said and even structure issues.
“When elected officers get into government, they are more interested in seeing what is tangible, pointing at something and saying this is my legacy. When you budget for education at the state level, most of the money tends to go to infrastructure. But there are other issues that are more important and I am not downplaying infrastructure.
“We need more infrastructure; we need to look at the poverty issues, the underlining issues that compound the problem need to be addressed.”
Comments are closed.