The Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) through the Federal Ministry of Education (FME) on Thursday launched the Back to School Campaign in Benue State and distributed learning materials and other items to three hundred (300) students across the condition.
Delivering a keynote address at the launch of the program at the Benue State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) headquarters, Makurdi, Minister of State for Education, Hon. Hon. Goodluck Nanah Opiah, represented by Ms Joy Onojah, who started the programme, said the FGN was determined to end the Out of School Children (OOSC) threat as she pointed out that Nigeria still has a high rate of such children caused by Covid -19 confinement and insecurity.
The Honorable Opiah stated that if the number of OOSCs is not controlled, the rate of armed robbery, kidnapping and other social vices will increase in the near future and charged interested parties, philanthropists and good-spirited people to provide support and adopt OOSC homeless to sponsor them at school.
While encouraging States to do more than the FG in their efforts to get OOSC back to school, the Minister said, the federal Ministry of Education set out to identify school-age children who are not in school and ensure their enrollment in both formal and non-formal schools. -Formal learning centers close to their homes and provide them with basic materials so they stay in school.
In a commentary, the Director of Basic Education, FME, Abuja, Dr. OF Olatunji-David, represented by the Ministry’s Deputy Director of Education, Mr. Anuna Olufemi, announced that she has included the issue of OOSC in the Ministerial Strategic Plan (MSP) to carefully approach the challenge. One of the strategies according to the Director are strategic interventions such as the Back to School campaign witnessed in Makurdi during the launch on Thursday.
He praised the Benue State Education Commissioner, the SUBEB Chairman and the State Agency for Mass Education for their efforts to get school-age children back in the classroom.
Earlier, in a welcome speech, Benue SUBEB Chairman Comrade Joseph Utse, represented by Permanent Board Member 2 Emoh Adoga Esq, thanked the Federal Ministry of Education for putting smiles on the faces of 300 Benue children in LGEA selected in the three Senates. areas of the state of Benue.
The President of the SUBEB commissioned the Secretaries of Education to Benefit the LGEAs to ensure that the stationery, school backpacks and sandals received reach the corresponding beneficiaries, since any Secretary of Education who is caught diverting the items will be severely penalized .
SUBEB secretary, Mr. Alexander Tsaga, assured that the items will be shared equitably and targeted to the beneficiaries.
In a vote of thanks, SUBEB’s Director of Social Mobilization, Mr. Emmanuel Ejeh, said that success lies in the obstacles that people can overcome and that the OOSC challenge is one of the obstacles that must be overcome by the Benue State and Nigeria as a whole. to achieve success in the education sector. He thanked the FG for the gesture and requested sustained support.
The highlight of the program was the symbolic presentation of articles to the OOSC by the representative of the Minister of State for Education, the representative of the Director of the FME and others.