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450, 000 Out-Of-School Children In Gombe – UNICEF



The State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) in Gombe State says it plans to reduce the number of out-of-school children in the state in 2018/2019 academic session by 50 per cent.

Mrs Zulaihatu Madugu, acting secretary of the board, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday, in Gombe.

Madugu said the programme would be done through an enrolment driven programme to be carried out in collaboration with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

“We are planning to reduce by 50 per cent, the out-of-school children in the state through an enrolment driven programme of the board. UNICEF says there are over 450, 000 out-of-school children in Gombe State, but I think that statistics is more than the actual figure. However, we are expecting the result of school audit by Universal Basic Education Commission.

“The result will give the actual figure of the out-of-school children but no matter the statistics, we are working toward reducing the number by more than 50 per cent,’’ the acting secretary said.

She noted that the programme impacted positively in the 2017/18 academic year enrolment, adding that it would be re-organised to realise the target of the board in 2018/2019 academic session.

Madugu said that sensitisation by the board proved to be a useful tool in enhancing enrolment in schools. “We have been using sensitisation in the past but we want to improve on it by enlarging the scope of the programme. Sensitisation remains the major tool of enhancing enrolment into schools in the state.’’

She said the board invited all the district heads and community leaders in the state for the sensitisation on ways to improve enrolment of school children in the 2017/2018 session.

“In 2018/2019, we are taking the campaign to the people at the ward levels as well as households and community leaders. She appealed to traditional and religious leaders to help sensitise their people on the need to enroll their children in school