The Federal Ministry of Education, FMOE, disclosed that over 260,000 children are out-of-school in Benue State, placing the state in an unenviable position as one of the low school enrollment rates.
The Director, Basic and Secondary Education in the Ministry, Hajia Binta Abdulkadir made this disclosure at the ceremony for identification and enrollment of out-of-school children in the state held in Gwer West and Apa Local Government Areas, LGAs of the state.
The Director said it was on that basis that the two LGAs were selected in the pilot phase of the enrollment drive campaign to help the state enroll more children into school.
In a statement by the Information Officer of BSUBEB, Mrs. Erdoo Sar, the Director who was represented by the Deputy Director Gender Branch, FMOE, Mrs. Felicia Abuka, it urged the board, to redouble its efforts towards eradicating the incidence of out-of-school children in the state.
“UNICEF reports indicated that Nigeria accounts for one in every five out-of-school children in the world and 45 percent of the children in West Africa; while Benue state accounts for 260,000 out-of-school children in Nigeria. This places Benue on the list of states with low school enrollment rates.
“It is on this basis that Apa and Gwer-West LGAs were selected in the pilot phase of the enrollment drive campaign. This exercise is also taking place simultaneously in Benue, Nasarawa, and the Zamfara States in the first series of interventions carried out by the FMOE,” she was quoted as saying.
With the growing level of out-of-school children in Nigeria, there is no doubt that Benue State with the multiplicity of out-of-school children, will have to battle hard to nip the scourge in the bud.
Available statistics indicated that the Benue State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), is among those with the highest number of out-of-school children, which is estimated at about 3.5 million.
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