Out-of-school crisis: UK charity to establish entrepreneurial centres in Nigeria’s 6 geo-political zones

By Ruth Oketunde

 

The UK charity, IA-Foundation is to establish skills acquisition centres in each of the six geo-political zones in Nigeria, to empower millions of out-of-school children in the country.

The initiative is the latest effort by the foundation to add value to the lives of some 20. 2 million Nigerian kids who are currently out-of-school in Africa’s most populous nation.

The Founder and Chief Executive Officer of IA-Foundation, Mrs Ibironke Adeagbo, made the disclosure in a telephone interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Sunday.

She said the plan to build the entrepreneurial centres was part of the outcome of her working visit to the newly-elected Mayor of the London Borough of Southwark, Mr Michael Situ.

Adeagbo said that she discussed the global issue of out-of-school children, especially in Nigeria with the mayor, expressing her optimism that time had come for the international community to step into the out-of-school crisis worldwide.

India, Nigeria and Pakistan are the countries with the highest number of out-of-school children, according to records by the UN agency, UNESCO.

Adeagbo said that her visit to Situ was to persuade the mayor to stimulate the consciousness of the British political and business establishments, to get involved in the effort to tackle the out-of-school menace frontally.

According to her, the foundation has also slated to host a summit in Lagos, Nigeria in October, to discuss Nigeria’s out-of-school issues among an international audience.

Adeagbo restated her call on the Nigerian government to establish an agency to tackle the out-of-school crisis, to save the future of children in the expansive West African country.

She said that all eyes were on President Bola Tinubu to make the difference in Nigeria’s education sector, to assure a better future for the country.

A report released late last year by a research company, SBM Intelligence, listed Kebbi, Zamfara and Bauchi States as having the highest numbers of out-of-school children in Nigeria’s 36 states.

NAN reports that the high number of out-of-school children in the three northern states may not be unconnected with some cultural mores that appear to discourage education, especially among the girl-child.

Analysts also posit that the problem is exacerbated by an endemic insurgency by the deadly Boko Haram group which has forced millions of children out of classrooms.

Boko Haram has waged a relentless war in Nigeria since 2009 in a bid to discourage western education in the country, which is also Africa’s most populous nation.

Bayelsa State in the oil-rich Niger Delta is also cited as having the highest number of out-of-school children among states in Southern Nigeria.

 

(NAN)

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