The Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, has blamed the lingering security challenges facing the country on the neglect of growing children and improper upbringing which left the children engaging in all forms of anti-social vices.
The Minister who made the assertion on Thursday while flagging off the National Campaign on out-of-school children and distribution of learning materials in Makurdi the Benue state capital said most of the said children who took to vices were out of school “and that is why we are feeling the heat today.”
Represented by the Assistant Director, Basic Education, in the Ministry, Mrs. Joy Onoja, the Minister said it was to check the menace that the Federal Government had embarked on an aggressive campaign to take the high number of Nigerian child off the streets and get them back to school.
He said, “the idea of enrolling all school-age children in school seems like an uphill task, but I can assure you that with our joint efforts we can overcome this challenge. I am therefore elated that the Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Education has set a workable pace for this “hill” to be removed.
“It is therefore a foregone conclusion that no nation can make meaningful progress with a high number of its youth being illiterate.
“A high number of out-of-school children is inimical to the economic growth and advancement of any country.
“It is on this basis that the Federal Ministry of Education carried out a survey to ascertain the states with high number of out-of-school children in an effort to ensure that this anomaly is rightly addressed.
“The Federal Ministry of Education is determined in ensuring that school-age children who are out of school are returned and retained thereby reducing the escalating figure to its barest minimum.”
Earlier, the Executive Chairman of Benue State Universal Basic Education Board, SUBEB, Joseph Utse represented by the Parmanent Member II, Emoh Adoga noted that “a child that is denied education on account of poverty, gender, culture, disability, religion among others will in future constitute a nuisance to the society.
Such children are easily given to vices such as armed robbery, drug addiction thuggery, and more.”
Mr. Utse who commended the Federal Ministry of Education for mounting the campaign and putting smiles on the faces of children by distributing school shoes and learning aids to 300 out-of-school children in the state said the initial beneficiaries were drawn from Makurdi, Ohimini and Katsina-Ala LGAs.
“It is hoped that the learning materials that each child receives will go a long way to boost enrolment, retention, completion, and transition rates in Basic Education schools,” he said.
The high point of the event was the distribution of school bags, shoes, and learning materials to some of the out-of-school children who were present at the occasion.