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UNICEF, Bauchi govt collaboration to determine number of out-of-school children




Bauchi Field Office of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in collaboration with the State Government have deployed a total of 325 Enumerators and 40 Supervisors across the State to determine the number of pupils that are yet to be enrolled in primary schools.

The development is part of efforts to ensure that all out-of-school children in the State were mobilised back to the classrooms to receive basic education.

The Enumerators and the Supervisors were deployed across the 20 Local Government Areas of the State to ascertain and then authenticate the actual number of the children that are out of schools.

A visit to Bambiyo, in Giade LGA on Thursday revealed that agitated parents have been submitting their wards to the Enumerators for mapping which is aimed at assisting policymakers in proper planning for the educational needs of the children.

Families with children were seen giving out the data of the children for documentation and possible return to schools during a field trip organised by UNICEF team to communities in Toro and the Northern part of the state including Katagum, Giade and Misau LGAs.

Aisha Abubakar, One of the enumerators, who spoke with the Journalists on the team, said that the exercise which commenced on Thursday in Giade would last for a week.

According to her, “What we do, is to meet the head of a household, ask about the number of kids not in school and input their information on our computerised records.”

She added that, “I have been going from door to doors, meeting parents for the information. They have been cooperating and glad to enrol their kids in school. Although some of them are giving economic hardship as an excuse to keep their children out-of-school.”

Abubakar added that, “We have observed that they are using these children in school during school hours but we have been encouraging them to prioritise education over farming.”

Also speaking, One of the parents, Sani Abubakar said that he has 19 children and is ready to enrol all of them in school as soon as all arrangements are completed.

He said that: “a child without education is like a waste. In my own case, I’m 77 years but I just finished secondary in 2007 when I have wives and children. I will not want a similar situation of mine.”

Speaking to Journalists on the development, the Officer in Charge of UNICEF, Bauchi Field Office, Dr Adams Clement, said that, “the mapping activity would enable the State to know the actual number of children that are out of school, for effective planning.”

He added that, “The mapping is a comprehensive household survey for out-of-school children towards actualizing the state’s strategic plans to reduce the number and rate of out-of-school children.”

Adams Clement stressed that, “It will also increase public participation and respond to the global targets of achieving education for all (EFA) and Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG4) targets.”

According to him,”the mapping would help to obtain information on out-of-school children and the possible reasons responsible for their being out of school.”

The UNICEF OIC said that, “To gather adequate information that will inform its decision-making for education planning, especially for the marginalized and vulnerable children in the state.”

“Also, to guide the planning and implementation of enrolment campaigns and targeted advocacy for enrolment, attendance, and transition at basic education (BE) and senior secondary school levels,” he added.

Adams Clement stressed that, “It is to obtain a comprehensive database for out of school children in the State. To recommend to the Bauchi State Government on policies and programs to reduce the number of out-of-school children.”

Bauchi State has been reportedly hosting larger number of kids not in school getting to about 1.2 million, but earlier in September, Bauchi State Governor, Sen Bala Mohammed inaugurated an education committee headed by Emir of Bauchi, Alh. Adamu Suleiman Rilwanu to champion the enrollment of children out of school where over 18,000 have been returned to classes as of now.