BY JONATHAN NDA-ISAIAH,
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday in Abuja directed the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development
to coordinate and lead the deployment of a National Plan to address the issue of out-ofschool children in the country.
Inaugurating the 18-member Presidential Steering Committee on Alternate School
Programme (ASP) co-chaired by the ministers of Humanitarian Affairs and Education, the president in a statement
by presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina said it was unacceptable to see children
abandoning formal school to engage in menial jobs and child labour in the markets, streets and workshops.
President Buhari said the National Plan to be deployed by the federal government, through the Humanitarian
Affairs Ministry, would ensure a holistic and comprehensive inclusiveness of appropriate basic education for vulnerable children.
‘‘To commence this special education initiative, emphasis should be given to first provide a limited scope of subjects
in Mathematics, English Language, Basic Science and Social Studies. Gradually, the initiative will be scaled up to ensure the acquisition of relevant technical skills in the process that can enable the
beneficiaries to participate in gainful economic activities,’’ he said.
President Buhari noted that in view of ‘‘some United Nations agencies that report a disturbing level of out of
school children estimated at 13 million’’, the Humanitarian Affairs Ministry had identified the critical need to further
address literacy inclusiveness, especially among these vulnerable children.