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Mallam Adamu Adamu, Minister of Education, has said the increased activities of insurgents, abduction of students and general insecurity are contributing immensely to the growing number of out of school children in the country.
The minister, who made the observations at the ongoing 65th National Council on Education (NCE) in Jalingo, the Taraba State capital, also identified culture, politics, poverty and religious beliefs as fundamental factors that are fast chasing out pupils and students from the four walls of the classrooms.
The NCE meeting, themed “Eradicating Out of School Children Phenomenon: A tool for the achievement of education 2023 agenda”, brought policy makers on the education sector from the nooks and crannies of the country to the state.
The dream of eradicating out of school children from the country, according to the minister, can only be achieved when the sector is adequately “overhauled.”
Areas which the minister believed ought to be urgently overhauled includes the provision of a safe and secured environment for learners and teachers.
Others, as noted by him are “availability of professional teachers, proximity of schools to pupils and students, strong political will on the part of the government to invest in education and provision for adequate funding mechanisms.”
Affirming that the role of teachers in addressing the out of school children phenomenon “is very paramount ” an “ill motivated teacher ” according to him “has little or nothing to offer to the children. ”
Optimistic that the problems confronting the out of school children will soon be a thing of the past, the present administration of President Buhari, he said , has taken to motivating teachers by approving allowances for them in hard to reach areas.
More to that, the minister who spoke through the Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, said the timely promotion to eliminate stagnation and prompt payment of salaries, he said, have as well been put in place.
For continuous teaching and learning especially with the new normal occasioned by the covid-19 pandemic, Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN), he said deployed technology to the classroom by organizing digital literacy and online workshops across the country on a zonal basis.
The TRCN, as further stated by him , was said to have as well registered over 2.2 million teachers and licensed over 200,000 teachers across the country.
While stressing the need for all hands to be on deck to eradicate the menace encouraging out of school children, the Federal Ministry of Education in collaboration with the Federal Government, according to him, will continue to work round the clock to address vices confronting the sector.