FG unveils project to get 20 million kids back in school

Worried by the increasing rate of out-of-school children in the country, President Bola Tinubu has approved the commencement of the DOTS project to overhaul the education sector, increase enrolment and ensure the academic security of the nation‘s children.

Our correspondent reports that DOTS is an acronym representing: Data Repository, Out-of-School Children’s Education, Teacher Training and Development, and Skill Development and Acquisition.

The Minister of State for Education, Dr. Yusuf Tanko Sununu, made the disclosure on Friday in Shabu, a suburb of Lafia, the Nasarawa State capital, while simultaneously performing the ground-breaking foundation laying ceremony of the National Examinations Council offices of Nasarawa, Abia, Sokoto, Taraba, Jigawa, Lagos, and River States.

The minister narrated that the DOTS project was to tackle the paucity of coordinated, verifiable, and authentic data in all aspects of the education sector in Nigeria.

Sununu further explained that the new initiative would enable the Federal Government to track the progress of students, thus having a clear data-driven mechanism for interventions, especially concerning out-of-school children, girls, and those with specific learning disabilities, among others.

He said, “Out-of-school children represents a major thematic area in the eight points agenda of President Bola Tinubu, with priority focus on social welfare, health and education.

“Mr. President is of the believe that the over 20million out-of-school children we have now, represents a group of Nigerians that we have to pay attention to, otherwise miscreants can use them to cause and foment trouble in Nigeria.

“President Tinubu also believes that for Nigeria to develop and continue to take its rightful position in the comity of nations, those group of over 20million citizens must be returned back to school, and ensure that they get proper education and the necessary skills to make them self-efficient and relevant in the society.” the minister added.

While commending the Nasarawa State Governor, Abdullahi Sule and the governors of the other six states for their continuous support to the educational sector, the minister expressed confidence that the seven new NECO offices will empower the examination body to serve the Nigerian people better.

On his part, the Registrar and Chief Executive of NECO, Prof. Dantani Ibrahim Wushishi, explained that the landmark achievement was a demonstration of the support and commitment of the Federal Government, under the visionary leadership of President Bola Tinubu.

According to him, the new state offices in Nasarawa, Abia, Sokoto, Taraba, Jigawa, Lagos and Rivers States, alongside other magnificent edifices of NECO, would serve as beacons of excellence in the administration of examinations in Nigeria.

While expressing his gratitude to the Emir of Lafia, Justice Sidi Bage (rtd) and the Sangarin of Shabu, HRH Mahammood Bwallah II, for their royal support for the project, Wushishi said, “This project is a direct outcome of the Federal Government’s commitment to infrastructural development within the education sector and is therefore part of the seven capital projects captured for NECO in this year’s budget appropriation.”

“As we look to the future, we envision a NECO that is not only a leader in the administration of examinations but also a catalyst for education transformation in Nigeria. We are committed to levearging technology and innovation to improve the quality and accessibility of our services.”

Earlier, while welcoming dignitaries from the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, and other parts of the country, Nasarawa State Governor, Abdullahi Sule, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the State Ministry of Education, Muhammed Bala, reiterated the state government’s commitment to continue to support all Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the federal government including the education sector.

Source: The Punch


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