The Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) has stated that Nigeria’s out-of-school population is worrisome, noting that it was higher than the population of other countries.
Hammid Bobboyi, the Executive Secretary of UBEC, disclosed this in Abuja, while signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the Commonwealth of Learning, Canada, on the Open Schooling Initiative.
UBEC had inaugurated the open schooling strategy on the 30th of May, 2019.
“We reached 13.2 million due to the Boko Haram crisis in 2015. Fortunately, after the personnel audit we did last year, those figures have come down to about 10.1 million. But it is still a worrisome percentage; 10.1 million is more than the population of some countries. Therefore, Nigeria cannot relent in its efforts to ensure that the number is reduced.
“Those who are going to the open schooling system may be more technology savvy, at the end of the day, than those who even attended conventional schools,” Bobboyi stated.
The UBEC Secretary urged the Government at all levels to synergise and combat the menace of access to schooling together.
Asha Kanwa, President of the Commomwealth of Learning, made it known that children will only learn what is relevant to them, explaining that out-of-school children will not come back to learn number counting or literacy or anything, they want to learn something relevant.
“We did something in Trinidad and Tobago in a fishing village. There were out-of-school children there. They were taught how to make nets, how to fish, how to mend boats and they came back to school because they found that this was a curriculum which was relevant to them,” she stated.
She also made it known that 25 out of 53 Commonwealth countries had implemented open schooling, reduced the cost of schooling and increased access for a large number of pupils.