The National Steering Committee on Alternate School Programme has begun collation of data of all out-of-school children in the country.
The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development Sadiya Umar Farouq made this known at the second meeting of the committee held on Tuesday at the office of the Accountant General of the Federation in Abuja.
The Minister noted that about 12 million children are currently out of school in the country, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.
“This Committee will work with the statistics made available by the NBS to engage these out of school children.
“The Alternate School Programme possesses the potential for every child to gain access to quality education, irrespective of social, cultural or economic standing, as well as provide a means of improving household incomes for their respective families, through the Federal Government’s Social Investment Programmes, as delivered through the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development. It also seeks to equip children with the requisite skills and wherewithal to engage with and contribute meaningfully to the Nigerian economy”.
Umar Farouq explained that the committee has worked closely with the Ministry of Education and other ministries to refine the concept of the Alternate School Programme.
“In collaboration with the Ministry of Education, we have spent the last few weeks in engagement with various stakeholders, in a bid to refine and strengthen the ASP Concept towards successful implementation of this programme; for it is upon this foundation that we can begin to erect necessary building blocks.
“The significance of each member of the National Steering Committee in providing the necessary leadership for the success of the programme cannot be overemphasised. And, as charged by Mr. President, the success of the Alternate School Programme will rely largely on inter-ministerial collaboration and effective stakeholder engagement”.
In attendance was Hon Emeka Nwajiuba, Minister of State for Education, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs Bashir Nura Alkali, DG NYSC Brigadier General Shuaibu Ibrahim, Representative of the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs, National Chairman Civil Society Strategic Group on SDGS, Dr Uzodinma Adirieje, ALGON Chairman Elder Otuonye, Hon. Balarabe Kakale, Prof. Julius Ihonvbere, Dr Ify Ukaegbu representing the SSA to the President on SDGs and Engr Bindir.
Virtual participants in the meeting include the Chairman Northern Governors’ Forum Dr Simon Lalong who was represented by the Deputy Governor of Plateau state Prof. Sanni Gwanle Tyoden, Prince Clem Agba, Minister of State Budget and National Planning and Chairman Private Sector Advisory Group Bolaji Balogun.
NNEKA IKEM ANIBEZE