Written by Godfrey AKON

UBEC: BESDA will reduce out-of-school children population

The Universal Basic Education Commission, UBEC, has expressed confidence that its World Bank-supported Better Education Service Delivery for All, BESDA, programme being implemented in 17 states across Nigeria will reduce the number of out-of-school children and boost literacy among children of school age.

UBEC’s Deputy Executive Secretary, Services, Dr. Isiaka Kolawale, stated this at a workshop on Financing Agreement and its Implementation Manual for legal officers of the commission in Lagos, a statement by UBEC’s Head of Public Relations and Protocol, Mr. David Apeh, said.

Nigeria’s Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, had in a press briefing in Abuja announced in January that the number of out-of-school children in the country had dropped to 6.946 million in 2020 from 10.1 million in 2019.

Adamu’s remarks were however disputed as the nation was only emerging from an unprecedented Covid-19 lockdown, which forced the closure of schools across the country, making the school system to lose an entire year.

According to the Global Partnership for Education, GPE, the country has about 20 per cent of the total population of out-of-school children in the world, while the United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF estimates that one in every five out-of-school children in the world is in Nigeria.

Kolawale said the BESDA programme will significantly promote system strengthening among States of the Federation and therefore the target out-of-school children are taken off the street and placed under a proper school system.

The Deputy Executive Secretary stressed that the BESDA programme which is supported by World Bank will also increase equitable access, improve literacy and strengthen accountability for results in basic education delivery in Nigeria.

He said in order for the BESDA programme to succeed, two forms of legal documents have been signed by the World Bank and the Federal Government on one part, and by UBEC and seventeen beneficiary states on the other part.

"Therefore, it is my advice that you commit yourselves to understanding the Documents and benefits that will accrue from this workshop,” Kolawale said.

 

The Financing Agreement and its Implementation Manual was signed with State Universal Basic Education Boards, SUBEBs.

 

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