President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs to lead the deployment of a National Plan to address the issue of out-of-school children in Nigeria.
He inaugurated the 18-member Presidential Steering Committee on Alternate School Programme (ASP) on Tuesday in Abuja.
The team is co-chaired by the Ministers of Humanitarian Affairs and Education.
Buhari stated that it was unacceptable to see children abandoning formal school to engage in menial jobs and child labour in the markets, streets and workshops.
The President cited United Nations agencies’ report of out of school children estimated at 13 million.
He said the National Plan would ensure holistic and comprehensive inclusiveness of appropriate basic education for vulnerable children.
He directed that emphasis be given to first provide a limited scope of subjects in Mathematics, English language, Basic Science and Social studies.
Buhari said gradually, the initiative would be scaled up to ensure the acquisition of relevant technical skills in the process that can enable the beneficiaries to participate in gainful economic activities.
The President reiterated the commitment of the Federal Government to deal with key challenges of absolute poverty and propel Nigeria and Nigerians to a better way of life and development.
Other ASP members are Chairman, Northern Governors’ Forum; Minister of State, Budget and National Planning; Minister of State, Education; Senior Special Assistant to the President, Sustainable Development Goals; Executive Secretary, Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC); Director-General, National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), National President, Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON).
The rest are Representative, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO); Representative, United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF); Representative, Global Partnership for Education; Chair, Private Sector Advisory Group – SDGs; Chair, Civil Society Coalition on Sustainable Development; Chair, Senate Committee on Basic Education; Chair, House Committee on Basic Education.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs will serve as Secretary.