The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in collaboration with the Adamawa State Universal Basic Education Board (ADSUBEB) has begun mass enrollment of out-of-school children in the northeastern state.
Speaking on the enrollment in interview in Yola, the Adamawa UNICEF Education Consultant, Mr Joel Jutum said that the exercise was ongoing in Fufore, Girei, Mubi North, Guyuk, and Yola North Local Government Areas where UNICEF had already conducted a house-to-house census of out-of-school children.
Jutum said that the census conducted in the five local government areas by UNICEF identified 137,483 out-of-school children now being enrolled.
“This is just from five local government areas out of the 21 LGAs of the state.
“So you can imagine how many of such children we will have if the exercise is conducted in all the LGAs in the state,” Jutum said.
According to the UNICEF consultant, the exercise which is part of continuous effort to make safe and quality basic education accessible to all school-age children, particularly girls, is being executed with the active participation of School-Based Management Committees, Head Teachers, School Supervisors, and other partners in the five LGAs.
He said that already, the public schools nearest to each of the out-of-school children had been identified for the children to be enrolled, while UNICEF would provide all the pupils with books and the teachers with teaching materials.
According to him, the total absence of schools in some communities and the financial constraints are some of the major reasons given by parents for not sending their children to school.
“It’s very worrisome to us that some of these communities have no nearby schools within three kilometres.
“We have a situation where several communities do not have public or private schools.
“We have started a discussion with ADSUBEB on how to address such challenge,” he said.
Jutum, therefore, urged Gov. Ahmadu Fintiri to keep his campaign promise of providing free education in Adamawa by ensuring that the constitutional provisions and National Education Policy on Education were implemented. (NAN)