Kogi state governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, has restated the commitment of his administration to drastically reduce to barest minimum the number of out-of-school children in the state.
Governor Bello gave the assurance at the launching of the ”National Identification and Enrolment Drive and Campaign on Out-of-School Children” by the Federal Ministry of Education (FMoE), Thursday in Lokoja, Kogi state.
Represented by the state Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Hon. Wemi Jones, the governor stressed that he has taken education as number one priority in the thematic areas of focus under his new direction administration.
“The government sees education as the only channel through which we can emancipate our people on a sustainable basis and I am reassuring that I will not spare a kobo to making sure that education is totally revamped in Kogi state.
”This is why the national identification and enrolment drive and campaign on out-of-school children by the Federal Ministry of Education is very paramount to us in the state. We have envisioned this ahead of time, and we have taken steps towards ensuring that we do not get caught in the web,” he said.
He stated that from the statistics available, Kogi has the least out-of-school children among the 19 Northern states of Nigeria, due to the particular attention his government had placed on issue of education in Kogi state.
He said he had assented to the Kogi State Education Law 2020, which had made it to become a crime in Kogi state for any child of school age to be found outside the school during the official school hours.
”When such a child is spotted he/she will be arrested until the parents of that child come forth to explain why the child is not in school.
”Presently, Kogi is running 20 per cent budgetary allocation to education, and by 2022 we shall be running allocation of 30 per cent to education which is above the 26 per cent recommended by UNESCO”, he said.
In his remarks, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, Arch. Sonny Echono, said the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu in his Ministerial Strategic Plan (2018-2022) observed that the country still has a high number of Out-of-School children.