Niger governor calls for adequate security to boost education

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Government officials at the forum.

Niger governor laments effect of insecurity on education

By Valentine Amanze

 

Participants at the forum.

Niger State governor and Chairman of North Central States Governors’ Forum (NCSGF), Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello, has said that there would not be any meaningful development in the educational sector unless the safety of lives and property of the people were guaranteed.

In a statement issued by his media aide, Mary Noel-Berje, the governor made the declaration at the flag-off of the North Central Zone 2022 National Campaign on Out-of-School Children held at the Government House, Minna.

Governor Sani Bello said that the insecurity and the state’s land mass constitute major challenges to be considered by the Federal Ministry of Education to achieve the desired goal of the campaign to return out-of-school children to school.

He lamented that as a result of the insecurity, parents now find it difficult to release their wards to go to school.

“Obviously, anywhere there is insecurity, you don’t expect parents to allow their kids to go to school especially in situations where they are being kidnapped for ransom.

“We need to apply more efforts towards addressing issues of security and making our communities safe because, if they are not safe, it will be difficult to convince them to go out to school.

“While we make efforts to reduce the number of out-of-school children, we should make more efforts in ensuring that we provide security to protect lives and properties”, he said.

The governor, however, pointed out that the insecurity, if addressed, would allow for a smooth and rapid growth in the educational sector.

Contributing, the Minister of State for Education, Mr. Chukwuemeka Nwajuiba, said tthat he Federal Ministry of Education was interfacing with the Niger State government to ensure that children were taken out of streets and returned to school.

He further disclosed that the Ministry had reviewed the work so far done by Niger State in its educational sector in the past seven years, and confirmed that much progress had been made in the number of school enrollment.

On the  challenges faced by the state, the minister said that government was aware of them, adding that President Muhammadu Buhari had already directed that all security agencies be on ground to tackle insecurity in the state.

He assured that Niger State government would receive more support as every other state, especially in the light of its own peculiar circumstances to deal with the obstacles in the educational sector.

The minister also disclosed that remote learning facilities had been put in place to manage school distance and to ensure proximity.

In their separate remarks, the state Commissioner for Education and the Chairman, Niger State Universal Basic Education, Dr. Isah Adamu, said that the state was committed to drastic reduction in the number of out-of-school children to ensure a peaceful society.

They said that with the help of the Northern states governors and other critical stakeholders, the state was able to embark on a joint interstate action which helped the state record some successes in reducing the number of out-of-school children from 513,963 to 298,192.

 

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