World Bank earmarks $611 million for school enrolments
The World Bank has allocated over $611 million US dollars to reintegrate Nigeria’s out-of-school children back to the formal school system.
An Education Specialist and Consultant with the global bank, Mr. Adebayo Solomon, disclosed this at the flag-off of the 2017/2018 annual school census in Abuja with the theme: "Making Every Learner's Environment Count: A Panacea for the Dearth of Empirical Education Data and as a way of Solving the Problem of out-of-school Children Syndrome in Nigeria".
Adebayo, who stressed the need to improve data collection in the country, said 90 per cent of the $611 million would be utilised to ensure that children are enrolled in school, to reduce the out-of-school children population.
He said the five year project would take place in 17 states in the north east and north west as well as all geo-political zones of the country, while stressing the need for the sates to be proactive in collecting data for that purpose.
"We are working with some of our partners to achieve result; it is not only to collect data but for the data to be published; we need to see the value, so part of the efforts is to strengthen the ministry itself to have a robust data base, a robust websites wherein data can be published from the schools to the states and to the federal.
"The challenge has been the fact that there are lots of resource constraints. Some states are not able to do it but through the budget in the federal ministry of education there are resources available for the states to be able to do it.
"The money is available to the extent to which data is collected first of all by the states themselves; they have to spend their money, we now verified through the National Bureau of Statistics and immediately we verified,” he said.
In his remarks, the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, stressed the importance of data as it would help in educational planning, decision making, research, as well as national and global reporting, while disclosing that five states have already been mapped.
Adamu noted that the launch signalled the simultaneous commencement of the enumeration of all schools, pupils, teachers and facility in the basic and post-basic school levels in the 36 states and FCT.
"The conduct of the Annual School Census is in line with the provision of Nigeria Education Management Information System Policy of 2007 which provides for the collection of education data beginning from the school.
"Imo, Edo, Ondo, Kogi and Taraba states have keyed into this initiative and we hope all states will key into this exercise and link up so that our data could be validated promptly," he said.