By Lola Seriki- Idahosa, Kaduna, North-West, Nigeria …Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) has challenge the North to adequately address its educational challenges, saying that they should lead the process from the conference.
Presenting his welcome address, Dr. Hamid Bobboyi, Execute Secretary Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) at the Northern Nigeria Traditional Leaders Conference on Out-Of -School children held in Kaduna.
He said that, “Although there are many dimensions to the factors that constitute hindrances to the education of the north which cut across economy and Sociocultural value systems on the demand side, political, governance and educational financing on the supply side, it is pertinent to point out that parental or communal demand for education is a prerogative for them to send their children to school. And that parental or communal demand for education can be a source of pressure on government and individuals to supply the needed inputs for schooling to take place.
” The challenge that brought us here today which is the menace of Out-or School Children in Northern Nigeria is by no means a lean catastrophe to he overall development and survival of Northern Nigeria. It is cancerous phenomenon which if not address will lead to the collapse of the entire Northern Systems and their total demise.
“That today Nigeria has over 10.5 Million out-of-School Children (with the figure going much higher if IDPs in Boko Haram ravaged North-East and secondary school figures are included), with available statistics showinghat more 80% of this figure is in the North, calls to re-think and active participation of to checkmate the situation.
“The North has to wake up from deep sleep. The world is moving fast with science and technology and the other parts of Nigeria are struggling to catch-up with the rest of the world through their children education, but the north is wobbling and being drawn back by wrong perceptions of what constitute education and its true value in human and national
“It is in the North that majority of the sociocultural barriers to formal schooling have found a seemingly permanent dwelling place: Early marriage, especially of girls; pervading almajirai’ all over the northern streets; child labour; negative parental attitudes towards education of their children and wards; low parental literacy level; etc It is a source of worry and concern that the Northern Nigeria which hitherto had standing history for educational pursuit and development is today scornfully looked down upon nationally and being pity by the International Community for lack of educational development and fervid poverty.
“It is therefore my candid opinion that, only the North can adequately address its educational challenges, and the people to lead the process are here;
“This later opinion underscores the importance of a conference of this nature; to brainstorm how best traditional rulers can support and facilitate the education of Out-of-School Children in their domains in order to promote the Socioeconomic development of their emirates and the North generally. With the calibre of technocrats, educational policy makers and practitioners in our midst, no one is in doubt that this is the moment for the North.
“I therefore want to assure all that, with the commitment, guidance and backing of the Federal Government, active collaboration and participation of the International Developmental Partners, Non-Governmental Organisations the Organised Private Sector and other key players in the education industry, the Universal Basic Education Commission will vigorously pursue any agenda that targets eradicating the Out-of-School Children challenge to advance the educational development of Nigeria”.