Worrisome; 250,000 Bayelsa kids are not in school, according to Diri.

10 Jan 2023

Douye Diri, the governor of Bayelsa State, bemoaned the worrisome number of 250,000 out-of-school children in his state on Tuesday.

Diri urged parents, traditional leaders, and community leaders to work with the government to reverse the situation during the beginning of a national campaign on out-of-school children, which was organized by the Federal Ministry of Education in Yenagoa.

The state government has continued to promote free basic and secondary education in the state by purchasing uniforms and other educational resources, according to a statement from the governor signed by his chief press secretary, Mr. Daniel Alabrah.

He bemoaned the prevalence of out-of-school youth in the state despite the existence of a legislation to curb the problem and pleaded with the pertinent ministries to see to it that the law was widely publicized and followed to the letter.
He also requested that the state House of Assembly monitor the execution of its laws.

The people of Bayelsa and the Niger Delta region would profit from the effort, Diri said in praising the Federal Ministry of Education for bringing the campaign to the state.

He said, “A law was passed by the Bayelsa State House of Assembly on this matter in 2018. So, Mr Minister, Bayelsa State had started addressing the issues long before now. But your coming is key as it has opened our eyes to the level of out-of-school children in our state. The issue is mostly about implementation. We have the laws to ensure that our children are educated. This law has to be implemented across all our communities. The Ministries of Information and Education must do all within their powers to ensure that the public is aware of this law and that it is implemented.

“Let me take this opportunity to encourage parents to take advantage of the government’s provisions. There is free primary education. Uniforms and other instructional materials are being provided by the government. So, why won’t parents send their children to school?
“As a state, we will continue to prioritise education and have a paradigm shift that will go beyond certificates. We have introduced technical education, and by our third anniversary, we will commission some of the schools.”

Goodluck Nanah-Opiah, the minister of state for education, said in his speech that eradicating the problem of out-of-school youth was in the best interests of the nation and that eradicating education was a collective obligation.

He claimed that the Federal Ministry of Education had put in place procedures to guarantee that children of school age have access to education and he pleaded with the state administration to keep giving education a high priority.

When he first saw the Minister in his office, Diri requested that the Federal Government create additional higher institutions in the state in order to advance and broaden the boundaries of education.

Additionally, he encouraged the federal government to give the state its fair portion of educational equivalent money.
“As we speak, Bayelsa has completed its counterpart funding up until 2022, and now we are eagerly awaiting the federal government’s counterpart funding for 2022. Help us prevail on the Universal Basic Education Commission to fast-track its contribution to the fund to ensure that our educational requirements are met. As we speak now, we are even prepared for our counterpart funding for 2023,” the governor said.

Punchng, 'Diri bemoans 250,000 Bayelsa out-of-school children' (online, 2023) <https://punchng.com/diri-bemoans-250000-bayelsa-out-of-school-children/>.

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