Worried about the numbers of out of school children in the state, Ogun State Government has inaugurated a stakeholders’ Committee on School Enrollment Drive to get more out of school children into the state education nest.
Speaking at the official inauguration of the meeting of Stakeholders committee on Enrollment Drive iin Ogun State at Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta, the Special Adviser to the Ogun State Governor on Primary and Secondary Education, Mrs Ronke Soyombo said, “the government having expended huge public funds on the rehabilitation and renovation of schools across the state is determined to ensure that more children roaming the streets are wooed to occupying the yet unoccupied conducive learning environment awaiting them”.
Soyombo noted that, government is taking bold steps in conjunction with the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), Abuja to flag off an advocacy to the nooks and crannies of the state towards driving more enrollment in the primary schools.
The Special Adviser also noted that, the state government which was the first to launch virtual learning both on Television and Radio in the country in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, has also achieved 95 percent compliance in the COVID-19 school guidelines for effective learning.
She informed that the state government will aggressively mobilize all stakeholders including school-based management Committee, PTA, Civil Societies and the media to elicit parental consents of out of school children to enrol them in school through a well-orchestrated liiteracy and numeracy education to the nooks and crannies of the State.
Soyombo added that there are still rooms to accommodate the prospective pupils following the educational reforms and school rehabilitations being implemented by the government, noting there was need to influence change of attitude and behaviour among parents, Community members towards improving primary school enrollment.
The SA maintained that the State Government was working in line the United Nations goal of Ending poverty in all forms everywhere, saying one way of achieving this is through education just as she noted that the government was committed to ensure inclusive and quality education for all.
She informed that the issue of over-crowding in schools have been addressed through construction if new ones in partnership with UBEC while 20 E-learning Libraries are underway across the 20 Local Government Areas of the State.
On her part, the representative of the Universal Basic Education Commission, Mrs. Osas Kingsley-Odia Commended the state for keying into the enrollment drive initiative of UBEC to drive year to year aggressive enrolment of out of school children which according to her was iin line with the mandate of the commission.
She highlighted some of the challenges to under enrollment of school age children to include economic challenges, unapproved charges, inadequate teachers among others, calling on all stakeholders to give genuine support and commitment to ensuring that no child is left behind and ensure qualitative primary education for all children of school age.
Toluwalopemi Kowo writes from the Ministry of Information and Strategy, Abeokuta,Ogun State.