The World Bank has supported the federal government with $611 million to ensure that the huge numbers of out of school children in Nigeria are taken back into the school system.
Solomon Adebayo, World Bank education specialist disclosed this on Tuesday at the annual school census exercise held in Abuja. Adebayo stated that the collaboration with the government is to strengthen the ministry of education in ensuring enrollment of more children into the school system and to enhance the data base for effective administration of the School System in Nigeria.
He said “we have had the problem of not having accurate data to enhance this initiative of bringing all “Out of school” children back to school but with this new development I think we will have more children back to school”.
He explained that 90% of the $611,000,000 from the World Bank is targeted at 3 million Nigeria children who cannot afford to be in school, stressing that the initiative covers each geo-political zone, with more focus on the North West and North east zones for the next 5 years.
Adamu Adams, minister of education explained that the annual school census which is in line with the Nigeria Education Information System Policy is aimed at enhancing the efficiency of the ministry in collection, collation, management and dissemination of credible, reliable and timely education data in Nigeria.
The minister called on stakeholders to accurately complete the census form stressing the need for them to get accurate data as they prepare to put the ministerial strategic plan into action.
He said “I call on all stakeholders especially head teachers and principal as custodian of school records to accurately complete the census form as it is important we get our data right because we will soon be putting the new ministerial strategic plan into action”.
” I also urge for co-operation and full participation of the military, paramilitary and private schools (registered and unregistered), almajari centers and integrated Koranic schools in this exercise so that we can explore and improve all schools environment in order to begin to solve the problem of out-of-school children”.
He further explained that the census will provide reliable data that will lead to proper planning, management and administration of education in Nigeria adding that Imo, Edo, Ondo, Kogi and Taraba states have already been mapped.
Sonny Echono, permanent Secretary of the ministry of education retreated the agreement made at the 2017 national conference on education information systems that head teachers will be used as school census instruments instead of engaging external data collectors adding that the federal and state ministries of education will work with international partners to further train the head teachers on records keeping processes.
He said “The federal ministries of education, UNICEF, as well as the international development partners are to organise training on record keeping for headteachers in 27 states and the FCT”.