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Nigeria Records 13m Out Of School Children, 60% From North – Osasah

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By Jessica John Bakari

The Executive Director of African Centre for Leadership, Strategy and Development, Mr Monday Osasah says currently Nigeria is being rated having about 13 million out of school children with 60% of them from the northern part of the country.

Osasah stated this during a one day subnational summit on girl child education and premier of the C-CAGE documentary organized by the African Centre for Leadership Strategy and Development with support from Malala Foundation with a theme “Girl Child Education, A Veritable Tool for Development” held at Nurses House in Jimeta – Yola.

He said the centre is a non profit, non governmental organization established under Nigerian laws to build strategic leadership for sustainable development in Africa.

Osasah explained that the vision of the centre is to work with forces of positive change to empower citizens to transform society.

He pointed out that the centre is also meant to address the growing menace of out of school children in Nigeria in which currently stands at 13 million, the world highest number.

He added that the centre focuses on girl child education because girls account for over 60% of children.

Osasah enumerated the successes recorded in Adamawa to include enrollment of 1451 out of school girls into secondary Schools in three local government areas of Numan, Song and Maiha.

Other success achieved was the establishment of 25 safe spaces across the three local government areas with 1072 in and out of school girls for learning of basic numeracy and vocational skills.

In his remark, the Deputy speaker in the state house of assembly, Mr  Pwamakaino Mackondo lauded the effort of the centre with the support from Malala foundation for supporting Adamawa State in the area of Girl child Education.

There were goodwill messages from the state commissioner of higher education and tertiary institution, Mr Dishon kwobe, representatives of village heads of Numan, Song and Maiha local government areas, as well as representatives of teachers, chairman of universal basic education board, parents among others.

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Education

BREAKING: Tinubu Reconstitutes Governing Councils of Tertiary Institutions

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President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has approved the appointment of 555 persons as chairmen and members of the governing councils of tertiary institutions in Nigeria.

This is contained in a statement signed and released by Mrs Didi Esther Walson-Jack, Permanent Secretary Federal Ministry of Education.

The Inauguration/Retreat for the Chairmen and Members of the Governing Councils of Tertiary Institutions will take place on Thursday, May 30th and Friday, May 31st, 2024.

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Education

Education Minister Advocates Alternative Education For The Out Of School Citizenry

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…The Almajiri and Out of School Children Commission with a wide mandate covering out of school girls and boys is at the final stage of preparations for takeoff…

The Periscope Global

The Hon. Minister of Education, Prof Tahir Mamman, SAN, CON is championing the advocacy for the out of school citizenry, where he revealed that “while progress has been made in increasing girls enrolment in schools, there is still much work to be done to ensure that all Nigerian girls have the opportunity to receive quality education”.

Find below the full text of the Hon Minister’s presentation

INTRODUCTION TO ALTERNATIVE SCHOOL
The concept of alternative education for girls was birthed out of the desire that young girls who dropped out of school for reasons such as early pregnancy, economic hardship, child marriage or those who were marginalised due to cultural or social barriers, had another opportunity to go back to school to complete and advance their educational goals, acquire skills and be empowered.

It is one of the programmes of the Federal Ministry of Education (FME). However, in this instance, we are using one of the programmes of the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), an agency of the FME as an example.

BENEFICIARIES
It is aimed at providing access to married women and young girls who for one reason or the other have not completed their Basic Education programme. It is also for women and girls who for one reason or the other, were never enrolled in school.

The Alternative School Programme is generally designed to improve access to education for all Nigerian children in line with the aspirations of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG-4) on ‘Qualitative and inclusive education for all’ and to significantly reduce the number, and ultimately eliminate Out-of-School-Children.

It is to provide these categories of women and girls another chance to realise their dreams of becoming literate, educated and playing an important role in family life, community development and society like any other educated citizen

The Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) has thirty-five (35) Alternative High School Projects in already existing schools mostly in the Northern part of the country, thirty-two (32) of which are completed, two(2) ongoing and one (1) suspended due to security challenges.

The Commission has also expanded and constructed eleven (11) Alternative High Schools in different parts of Nigeria bringing the total to 45.

Other parastatals/agencies of the Ministry such as the National Commission for Mass Literacy, Adult and Non-Formal Education (NMEC) and the National Commission for Nomadic Education (NCNE) also have similar programmes.

A new commission, the Almajiri and Out of School Children Commission with a wide mandate covering out of school girls and boys is at the final stage of preparations for takeoff.

A large proportion of the target learners are expected to be girls. . Many State Governments especially in the North-East, severely affected by insurgency have mounted programmes with most of the beneficiaries being young girls and women.

The First Lady, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, CON recently announced plans to strengthen and give additional impetus to the Alternative High School for Girls. This high-profile intervention is a major step towards empowering the country’s most vulnerable young women.

This programme aims to give girls who have dropped out of school a further opportunity for education. As noted by the First Lady, the goal is to reach girls impacted by issues like teen pregnancy, domestic violence, human trafficking and drug addiction. By creating pathways back to the classroom, this initiative is expected to transform their lives.

The First Lady has declared her support for the education of the girl child aimed at closing the gaps in girls’ education in Nigeria.

In furtherance of her passion, she was physically in Bauchi to commission a new UBEC Second Chance School (Renamed Alternative High School for girls) and inaugurated an ICT centre and some educational facilities in March 2024.

The First Lady also turned the sod for a new Alternative High School for Girls in Osogbo on 23rd April 2024, and urged the State governments to strengthen girl child education in their various states. These interventions by Her Excellency have turned her into the chief advocate for an effective, massive alternative high school system for girls in Nigeria. The FME could not have prayed for a better and stronger voice of support in this key programmes.

The First Lady’s visionary initiative is expected to spark similar endeavours across the country in the states, igniting a wave of empowerment and opportunity for young girls everywhere.

It serves as a reminder that every girl deserves access to quality education and the chance to realise her full potential. We must remember that these are our future mothers, wives and the foundation of our country.

WHAT FEDERAL MINISTRY OF EDUCATION IS DOING
Nigeria has millions of Out of School Children (OoSC) in the school-age group, reportedly one of the largest, with the majority of them concentrated in Northern Nigeria, where secondary school completion rates among girls are lower than the southern region of the country.

There are also significant levels of violence around schools with girls being more at risk of gender-based violence, an array of issues including poverty and negative cultural practices stand as barriers to education for girls.

POLICY ENVIRONMENT
The Federal Ministry of Education in collaboration with a number of bilateral partners such as UNICEF has developed number of policy initiatives as follows among others:

The National Re-entry Guidelines for adolescent girls who dropped out of secondary school for various reasons, which serve as a policy of the Federal Government of Nigeria to help get girls back to school seamlessly and without hindrance.
National Strategy for Retention, Completion and Transition for adolescent girls.

These two policies were approved by the National Council on Education (NCE) on 14th December, 2023 in Lagos, Nigeria.

SAFE SCHOOLS
Nigeria was one of the first 37 UN Member States to endorse the Safe Schools Declaration (SSD) and the Federal Ministry of Education signed the Letter of Endorsement on 8th March, 2018.

A Plan of Action (PoA) 2018-2020 was developed by the FME in collaboration with Partners in Education in Emergency Working Group Nigeria (EiEWGN).

The PoA centred mostly on getting the commitment of the different arms of government to the development of Nigeria-specific policies and strategies that would aid in SSD implementation in every State and Local Government area of Nigeria.

To actualise this, the following policies were developed by the FME in collaboration and with support from Partner-members of EiEWGN:
National Policy on Safety, Security and Violence-Free Schools (NPSSVFS)
Minimum Standards (MS) for Safe Schools
Plan of Action (PoA) 2021-2023
Guidelines for Schools and Learning Facilities Reopening After Covid-19 Pandemic Closures: Taking Responsibility for Safe Schools and Quality Learning.

Safe Schools Declaration Reporting and Assessment Forms in Conflict Areas.

A Facilitator’s Guide for the Minimum Standards for Safe Schools Declaration.
Education in Emergency Curriculum: The Teachers’ Guide is currently being developed (with NERDC and Partners)

These policies are meant to ensure uniformity in the implementation of Safe Schools Declaration in all States and LGAs in Nigeria.

The National Plan for Financing Safe Schools in Nigeria was developed and launched in December 2022 along with Safe Schools documents to aid the implementation of the Plan.

The high end of these policies is the establishment of the National School Safety and Security Response Centre (NSSSRC).

ESTABLISHMENT AND COLLABORATION WITH NSSSRC
The National School Safety and Security Response Centre (NSSSRC) has been set up at the headquarters of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) with the mandate to protect all schools in Nigeria.

The Federal Ministry of Education, in collaboration with NSSSRC, all the arms of the Military and other Stakeholders, trained officers to monitor, receive reports and ensure prompt response to potential or actual attacks on schools in Nigeria.

All Schools are required to register on the NSSSRC platform for easy access to the facilities.
State governments are also expected to ensure schools in their States are registered on the platform

THE ADOLESCENT GIRLS INITIATIVE FOR LEARNING AND EMPOWERMENT (AGILE) PROJECT
In furtherance to address the issues of poverty, negative cultural practices, gender-based violence among others, which stand as barriers against girls education, the Federal Government with the support of the World Bank initiated the Adolescent Girls Initiative for Learning and Empowerment (AGILE) Project.

The AGILE Project aims to improve secondary education opportunities among girls in targeted areas in the seven(7) participating states namely: Borno, Ekiti, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, and Plateau (Parent States). The successes recorded in the AGILE Project within a relatively short time led to its expansion to 11 additional states: Adamawa, Bauchi, Gombe, Jigawa, Nasarawa, Niger, Kogi, Kwara, Sokoto, Yobe and Zamfara (Additional Financing States).

It is a multisectoral project being coordinated by the Federal Ministry of Education and also involves Federal Ministries of Finance, Women Affairs, Health, Youth Development, Humanitarian and Poverty Alleviation and is being implemented by the State Ministries of Education.

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Education

Kaduna: Royalty College Of Education, Health Science, Technology Matriculates First Set Of 23 Students

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By Abdullahi Alhassan, Kaduna

The first privately owned College of Education in Southern Kaduna celebrated its maiden matriculation ceremony, welcoming 23 students. Additionally, the institution unveiled the College of Health Science and Technology in Kafanchan, Jema’a Local Government Area of the state.

During the matriculation ceremony, Dr. D. J. Tukurah, a retired Senior Deputy Registrar Academic from Kaduna State College of Education, Gidan Waya-Kafanchan, emphasized the institution’s aims: to prepare students to thrive in the modern age and instill values of self-reliance, integrity, and honesty. He stressed the importance of fostering national unity by minimizing ethnic, cultural, and religious differences among students.

Tukurah urged lecturers to equip the inaugural class with knowledge and skills that empower the mind, heart, and hands while advising them to maintain professional boundaries.

Addressing the students, Education Secretary Jema’a Local Government, Mr. Dogara Audu emphasized the importance of focusing on learning and avoiding immoral behavior.

Earlier, Mr. Joel Adegboyega, Director of Royalty College of Education, Health Science, and Technology, traced the institution’s journey from conception in 2021 to establishment.

He urged students to embody academic excellence, integrity, and respect for diversity, highlighting these as core values of the institution.

He noted that the community is counting on them to become the best version of themselves and make an impact.

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