The Federal Government on Thursday said it had evolved a new campaign strategy for mass enrollment to enable children to acquire basic education.
The new framework will be implemented at all levels through intensive media campaigns and community mobilisation strategies that will increase parents’ demand for education by encouraging their children to obtain basic education.
The Acting Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Education, Mrs Ann Okonkwo, announced this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday shortly after a two-day stakeholders’ meeting in Kaduna.
She spoke to NAN through the Deputy Director, Basic Education, Mrs Opeyemi Ariba, that the new campaign strategy would scale up enrollment and retention of children in schools to complete their basic education.
Okonkwo, who doubles as Director, Basic and Secondary Education in the minsitry, said the strategy was part of the Federal Government’s effort to tackle the growing rate of out-of- school children in the country.
“It is part of government’s commitment to reach all Nigerian children, including the marginalised groups as well as increase access to basic education.
“The two-day National Stakeholders’ Workshop was convened to critique and finalise a Draft National Framework for School Enrollment Drive Campaign.“
She said the Federal Government had collaborated with UNICEF to review draft policy framework.
According to her, the draft focuses on strategies for effective enrollment drive at national, state, local government and community levels through collaboration with development partners.
“The campaign drive will serve as key intervention for increasing education demand as shown by indicators during the pilot programme in Katsina, Sokoto, Niger, Bauchi and Zamfara States.
“Despite the fact that primary education is free and compulsory, 8.7 million children of primary school age remain out of school in the country.
“When combined with Junior Secondary School, about 10.1 million children aged between five and 15 years are not in school.“
Also, data from the Education For All (EFA) 2015 Global Report show that some 58 million children are still out of school, while about 100 million others do not complete primary education.
Okonkwo said reaching out-of-school children would take special effort “ beyond what is typically thought of scaling up“.
She said the aim of the framework was to adopt a more systematic approach that would increase opportunities to enroll more children in school.
“ The strategy will help address the large number of children in the country, who are out of school, through increasing parental demand for education.
“The campaign will target positive behavioral change in parents and communities towards education.
“The framework provides a guide for effective coordination and implementation of the campaign strategy at each level of government with clearly stated objectives.“
NAN reports that the stakeholders, mainly Directors of Social Mobilisation from the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) in 19 selected states of the federation, are attended the meeting.
Others included officials of the National Commission for Nomadic Education (NCNE), the Federal Ministry of Education, UNICEF and the media.
The new draft framework will be presented at the Joint Consultative Committee on Education (JCCE) for approval. (NAN)