Drop in out-of-school figure in Nigeria’s Zamfara excites UK group


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A steady drop in the number of children forced out of school, due to untoward circumstances in Nigeria’s northwestern Zamfara has brought smiles to a Nigerian group in London.

The London-based IA-Foundation says it has cause to jubilate because the out-of-school crisis that has seen millions of Nigerian children forced out of school is being tackled decisively by various state governments in the West African country.

Millions of young people in the vast African country, especially the girl child have been forced to stay out of school, due to the activities of terror groups.

However, the Federal Government has risen to the challenge with a massive crackdown on bandits and anarchists in parts of the country.

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Chief Executive Officer of the foundation, Mrs Ronke Adeagbo, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in a telephone interview in Abuja on Sunday that there appeared to be light at the end of the tunnel with various state governments raising the stakes to give education to children.

Mrs Ibironke Adeagbo, Founder/CEO IA-Foundation

Citing Zamfara State in northwestern Nigeria, Adeagbo, a notable campaigner for the right of children to get education, said that Zamfara appeared to be turning the page in the struggle to give education to children.

She quoted the Zamfara government as announcing recently that the number of out of school children in the state had been reduced from 500,000 to 300,000 this year, due to ongoing collaboration of UNICEF and the state government to address education issues.

On Oct. 13, the Governor of Zamfara, Mr Bello Matawalle, flagged off a Back-to-School Campaign, aimed at re-opening schools in the state shut down because of insurgency and COVID-19.

The schools closed since last year have, however, remained shut, especially those in Maradun and Kaura-Namoda Local Government Areas of the state.

On the fate of Nigerian school children still being held in captivity by bandits in some states in the north, Adeagbo re-stated her appeal to the international community to assist the Nigerian government to stop the abductions.

She said that the future of Nigeria would be compromised if young people were not allowed to go to school to express themselves and attain the peak of their destinies.

NAN learnt that IA-Foundation would be honoured by the Nigeria British Business Forum in Nigeria on Oct. 23 for its efforts in helping to 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, due to various reasons, including violence targeting school children.

Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation is currently facing a deadly spate of banditry and jihadist insurgency, championed by Boko Haram, which is opposed to western education. (NAN)


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