UBEC: Tackling Out- of- School Children Conundrum, — Abubakar Yusuf.
The lingering issue of Out- of- School Children (OOSC) had grown into a global discourse, particularly the unabated nature of the unfortunate development that was growing into an uncontrollable proportion.
Yet, for a robust learned society cum enlightened environment, concerted efforts had to be put in place to develop the shock absorber geared towards addressing the issue permanently.
With varying degrees and consequences taking toll on the development of Basic Education as the foundation, redoubled efforts was desiring to resolve the unabated scourge.
The basis of Out- of- School Children OOSC that ranges from different variables, both natural and artificial phenomenon can always be resolved with a well thought out policy framework.
In Nigeria, The Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) saddled with bringing a lasting solutions to this problems through its domestication policy is constrained with so many downturns, that ranges from human and material resources.
Arising from both local and international submission on the volumes and dire effects of solution to Out- of -School Children OOSC both from local, partners and foreign bodies, it is germane to find a lasting solutions to the recalcitrant and new area affecting greatly the development of Basic Education globally and nationally.
With varying figures of Out -of -School Children OOSC bandied across negative effects, the recent UNICEF, UNESCO among many other global bodies figures hovers between 7.5M female, to 10M males that had metamorphosed to growing figure, putting it at 20M in Nigeria, pre census and eagerly waiting for post census to access accurate figure that leave much to be desired.
The OOSC scourge dated back to pre- COVID and post COVID-19 era worsened by both artificial and natural occurrences, had attracted basic attention from the Basic Education handlers under the leadership of Dr Hamid Bobboyi geared towards achieving the set objectives.
This has led to greater investment both in human and material resources geared towards mitigating the continuous exodus of children of school age from schools in Nigeria.
Series of programs ranging from partnerships, awareness, collaborations with both local and foreign bodies to reduce to the barest minimum the problem of unlearned children that had jerked up both social and economic malaise.
The indepth exercises powered by the Universal Basic Education Commission UBEC through its domestication in line with SDGs goals 4 arrived at a figure that was near reliable and incontrovertible , with relentless efforts on the part of Basic Educators in the country.
Conversely, to kick the ground running out of the collation and findings, the commission arrived at a standard data with the country needs of an additional 20, 000 schools and 907, 769 classrooms to absorb the growing number of out -of School Children OOSC.
Even though, the country accounts for 12.4% of the total number of out-of-school children in sub-Saharan Africa, however, noted that while UNESCO’s statistics were based on out-of-school children aged 6-18 years, the commission only focused on those within the age bracket of 6-11 years, causing the disparity in statistics between the figures presented by UNESCO and the government.
Not minding the slight figure and it’s discrepancies, UBEC had been able to produce a reliable and verifiable figure that will address out -of- school children age as panacea to the growing scourge in Nigeria.
Yusuf Is A Public Affairs Analyst, Writes from Abuja on firstname.lastname@example.org.