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Number of out-of-school children still high despite our efforts, Nigerian govt laments

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The federal government has lamented the lack of improvement in its fight to reduce the number of out-of-school children in the country despite all the efforts it is putting to ensure that children returned to school.

The Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Education, Sonny Echono, who was making the lamentations said in spite of the Ministry’s sustained efforts, the number of children that are out of school was still high.

Echono was speaking on Monday at the launch of a review National Gender Policy in Education in Abuja, where he posited that “we must all jointly ensure that these children return to school.”

Echono was ably represented by the Ministry’s Director of Human Resources Management, Mr David Gende.

He said: “It may interest you to know that the Federal Ministry of Education has done a lot in the area of improving access and retention in schools.

“Despite these efforts a large number of girls and boys are still out of school and we must all jointly ensure that these children return to school.”

READ ALSO: EU, UNICEF tackles mental health among 5,129 out-of-school children in Borno

Echono explained that the Ministry was “statutorily responsible for formulating education policies”, urging the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory to use the revised national policy on gender in education as a tool to better the sector.

According to him, ”The revised National Policy on Gender in Education is a step in the right direction as it cuts across all levels of education, captures emerging issues, cross cutting issues and a whole lot more.

”All sectors and states should ensure that it is used as a tool for achieving not only gender equality and equity but achievement of SDG 2030 agenda.”

Globally, Nigeria currently has the largest number of out-of-school children in the world with an estimated 13.2 million figure according to a 2018 survey conducted by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

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