The recent statistical report of Nigeria Data Survey (NDS) that Oyo State has not less than 227,842 out-of-school children, the highest number in the South-West, is still giving the state government some concern.
The chairman, Committee on Education, Oyo State House of Assembly, Honorable Olukayode Akande, described the out-of-school children situation in Oyo State as a social malady that the house would give it its due attention to.
Recently, the Department of Planning, Research and Statistics of the state Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, in collaboration with the United Nations International Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF), Akure B Field office, facilitated a two-day interactive session on strategies to bring back the affected children to the classroom.
While addressing the gathering consisted of permanent secretaries, directors from different stakeholders, the acting Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Mrs Ibironke Fatoki, expressed dissatisfaction with the development in the State and promised that the state government would ensure the return of the said children to school as well as equip them with vocational education.
Mrs Fatoki noted that the issue of out-of-school children is a major problem and that it would require serious attention. “It is, therefore, imperative to sensitise all the stakeholders and enlist their support on the need for concerted effort to inaugurate an aggressive campaign for ‘Leaving No Child Behind’ and to make every child count.”
Speaking in the same vein, UNICEF education specialist, Akure Field Office, Alhaji Muritala Mohammed, commended the state government and the ministry of education for mobilising stakeholders from the various states for the interactive session. He said UNICEF would expect the newly constituted Steering and Technical Committees to develop a one-year action plan, conduct house survey on out-of-school children in the state and also develop strategies on how to take the children back to school.