Gombe State Government says no fewer than 350,000 out-of-school children have been mopped up in the last four years of the first tenure of the present administration and sent back to school.
The disclosure was made by the State Governor, Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya, in his message to commemorate the 63rd Independence Anniversary of Nigeria as well as the 27th anniversary of the creation of Gombe State by the Military regime of late General Sani Abacha In 1996.
According to the Governor, the independence and anniversary occasion presents a cause for double celebration in Gombe state, adding that over the past twenty-seven years, the state has undergone remarkable transformation and development.
He also stated that the government has made significant strides in education, healthcare, infrastructure, agriculture, job creation, civil service reforms, water resources, environment and sanitation.
He added that the progress recorded in the state would not have been without the support, dedication and commitment of the people state irrespective of ethno-religious and political differences.
He urged residents and other stakeholders in the state to continue with the collaborative effort in building the state to an enviable status.
The Governor said, “Let us work together to address the pressing issues that affect our people across all facets of development. Let us empower our communities and harness the creative energies of our people in order to build a united, prosperous and all-inclusive Nigeria.
Meanwhile, it was gathered that the BESDA program has provided opportunities for children who were hitherto denied access to education due to poverty, displacement and other factors.
The programme in Gombe State has provided opportunities for the enrollment of over 250,000 children in public schools, with over 100,000 enrolled in Primary and Junior Secondary Schools.
The State Government has also provided training and capacity building for Teachers in order to improve the quality of education just as it further provided the children with a conducive environment for learning.
It also recruited 1000 Teachers through the State’s Teachers’ Service Commission (TSC) to address the human resource gap in the education sector.
Recall that, the rate of out-of-school children in Nigeria has been a source of concern for the Government at all levels and stakeholders in the education sector across states in the country.
In response to the menace, the Federal Government launched the Better Education Service Delivery for All (BESDA) programme to improve access to quality education in the country.
BESDA is a World Bank-funded program that aims to reduce the number of out-of-school children in Nigeria and was launched in 2018 and is being implemented in 17 states across the country. Gombe is one of the states that benefited from the BESDA program.
In Gombe State, the BESDA implementation has made significant progress in mopping up out-of-school children.