By Ruth Oketunde
The London-based IA-Foundation says it has reason to celebrate because the out-of-school crisis that has seen millions of Nigerian children forced out of school is being addressed decisively by various state governments of this West African country.
Millions of young people in this vast African country, especially girls, have been forced out of school due to the activities of terrorist groups.
However, the federal government rose to the challenge with a massive crackdown on bandits and anarchists in parts of the country.
The foundation’s chief executive, Ms Ronke Adeagbo, told Nigeria’s News Agency in a phone interview in Abuja on Sunday that there appeared to be light at the end of the tunnel with various state governments increasing the stakes to give an education to children.
Citing Zamfara state in northwestern Nigeria, Adeagbo, a notable activist for children’s right to education, said Zamfara appeared to be turning the page in the fight to educate children.
She cited the Zamfara government recently announcing that the number of out-of-school children in the state had been reduced from 500,000 to 300,000 this year, thanks to the continued collaboration of UNICEF and the state government to solve education problems.
On October 13, Zamfara Governor Mr. Bello Matawalle launched a back-to-school campaign, aimed at reopening state schools closed due to the insurgency and COVID-19.
Schools closed since last year, however, remained closed, particularly those in the state’s Maradun and Kaura-Namoda local government areas.
On the plight of Nigerian schoolchildren still held captive by bandits in some northern states, Adeagbo reiterated his appeal to the international community to help the Nigerian government end the kidnappings.
She said Nigeria’s future would be in jeopardy if young people were not allowed to go to school to express themselves and reach the pinnacle of their destiny.
has learned that IA-Foundation will be honored by the Nigeria British Business Forum in Nigeria on October 23 for its efforts to help reduce the number of out-of-school children in the country.
Records show that up to 13 million children are out of school in Nigeria for a variety of reasons, including violence against schoolchildren.
Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation, is currently facing a deadly wave of banditry and jihadist insurgency, championed by Boko Haram, opposed to Western education.
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