Shettima Launches NEDC’s School Enrollment Drive Programme

By Sani Adamu Hassan

Vice President Kashim Shettima has launched the Accelerated Senior Secondary School Education Programme (ASSEP) initiated by the North-East Development Commission (NEDC) in collaboration with the office of the VP to enhance child enrollment drive in schools within the North-East sub-region.

Speaking during the launching of the programme in Bauchi on Saturday, the VP said that consequences of the nation’s action and inaction were evident in all indices used to assess development.

He said while primary education provides a foundation, secondary education is a bridge, adding that the Northeast sub-region has been the victim of inability to enforce a uniform policy to drive school and the persistent cultural perversion to formal education in the country.

“We in the Northeast occupy a quantum of position in ranking of essential services. Education being a key sector of this country, this is especially pronounced in the post primary education, while the Northeast secondary school enrollment drive stands at 19 percent, far below the nation’s 39 percent,” he said.

Earlier, the Managing Director of NEDC, Mohammed Alkali, said that the primary education completion level of 85 per cent in the Northeast is among the best in Nigeria, but secondary school enrolment is a mere 15 per cent, the second worst nationally.

According to him, due to the challenges in the post-primary education segment, JAMB UTME applications and admissions into tertiary institutions in 2019 were the lowest for the Northeast compared to other regions.

He added that, nationally, the Northeast has the lowest number of teachers and the highest percentage 55 per cent of those available are without literacy skills.

The MD also revealed that the challenges in the post-primary education segment include weak quality indices and a wide demand-supply gap driven by economic and cultural factors.

“The Accelerated Senior Secondary Education Programme seeks to boost the post primary education rating across the North East region through improved enrolment into tertiary institutions.

“It’s also to improve skills development as well as the elevation of teacher quality. It would pay special focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and communication.

“These would foster creativity and critical thinking; motivates and inspires young people to generate new technologies and ideas to learn from inquiry-based tasks,” he said.

Alkali also explained that the programme would also raise awareness about after-school possibilities and the potential for diligent students to become successful and prominent contributors to the North East region and Nigeria at large.

He expressed gratitude to the Federal Government especially, the Vice President for the deep interest and commitment to human development in the North-East.

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