The Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu on Thursday disclosed that the World Bank has provided a total of $611million to support Nigerian government in strengthening universal basic education.
Adamu, who made this disclosure in Ibadan, the Oyo state capital, while speaking at the launch of Better Education Service Delivery for All (BESDA), a program initiated by the World Bank to support the Nigerian government in strengthening education across the country, lamented that Nigeria has the highest number of the out-of-school children in sub-Saharan African with an estimation of 13.2 million.
At the launch were: Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo state, who was represented by his Deputy, Chief Moses Adeyemo, Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism Mr. Toye Arulogun among others.
Adamu who spoke through the Director, Basic Secondary Education in the Minstry, Dr. Lami Amodu noted that the government is strengthening the quality of basic education in Nigeria to confront factors that deny the children access to Basic Education.
He commended the World Bank for initiating BESDA and the provision of the sum of $611million in strengthening Universal Basic Education as well as addressing the first pillar of the Ministerial Strategic Plan (MSP) 2016 – 2019 on out-of-school children.
Adamu said that BESDA focuses on 17 states in the country which includes the entire 13 states of the North West and North East geo-political zones, Niger, Oyo, Ebonyi and Rivers, saying, “It is gratifying that Oyo State is the second among the 17 states that have successfully commenced the implementation process.
He said, “I am indeed very delighted over the bold step taken by Governor Ajimobi for being the second out of 17 states covered by BESDA to formally launch the program. This is a clear demonstration on Governor Ajimobi’s quality leadership and his personal commitment to education as well as the passion to revatilise our education sector in order to develop the abundant human capital of the state.
“Let me appreciate the world bank for initiating the BESDA and the provision of a total sum of $611million to support the Nigerian government in strengthening universal basic education as well as addressing the first pillar of the ministerial strategic plan 2016-2019 on out of school children”.
Adamu explained that BESDA is a program that will result in better life of all our children as the cardinal objective is to increase equitable access for out of school children, improve literacy and strengthen accountability for results at the basic education level in the focus states.
He added that ensuring the out-of-school children are back to school and learning will not be only a moral and legal obligation, but also a productive investment that will guarantee the future of our children and ensure that their rights are protected as enshrined in the Childs Right Act 2003.
Ajimobi said that the present administration in the state has done a credible directional road-map to guide the operation of all stakeholders in the education sector, noting that the State Government has also spent huge amount of resources with a view to ensure quantitative and qualitative education service delivery in the state.
He said “It is worthy to note that our government has not defaulted in the provision of matching grants for the provision of infrastructural facilities to enhance basic education delivery in the state. We commend the FG and the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) for ensuring the quality education at all levels. We cherish and consider a great privilege and wish to assure the Federal government of Nigeria that the state will put in place all necessary mechanism to ensure the successful implementation of BESDA.
Executive Secretary of the commission, Dr. Hamid Bobboyi while explaining the rationale behind the program, maintained that the BESDA was introduced in order to address the menace of out of school children especially in the northern part of the country.
Bobboyi who was represented by Mallam Wadata Wadaki posited that the rising rate of Boko Haram insurgency, Kidnapping, hooliganism among other social voces made the commission to introduced the program to address the menace of out of school children in Nigeria.
He lamented that Nigeria is still finding ways to reduce the menace of out of school children thirty years after the launch of education for all.
He said “We are launching BESDA to reduce out of school children particularly in the north. This led us to this situation to tackle the challenge. This is why we have to partner with the world bank. The out of school children has led to Boko Haram, cattle rustling, kidnapping are all indication of the menace of out of school children.
“It is sad that after 30 years of the launch of the education for all, we are still battling with the out of school children. I commended the Governor of the state for his efforts for the contributions”.