The Katsina State Government on Tuesday flagged off a programme designed to reduce the number of out-of-school children in the area.
The project is being implemented in collaboration with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.
According to the Katsina State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), some 775,000 children in Katsina State are currently out of school due essentially to activities of bandits as well as the COVID-19 pandemic, among other factors.
Reports indicate that two out of the 34 Local Government Areas, Kankara and Kafur are the worst hit. Speaking at the flag-off programme, the Commissioner for Education, Prof. Badamasi Lawal, said that the government in collaboration with development agencies were committed to ensuring that the affected children return to school.
He described education as the highest priority of government noting further that ‘the present administration has constructed a number of schools and renovated and upgraded others while also recruiting more than 10,000 teachers.’
SUBEB Director of Social Mobilisation Abdulmalik Bello said that ‘in 2018, Katsina had 1,137,000 out-of-school children and from that time, the board and state government joined hands with UNICEF where we were able to return 360,000 children to school.
‘Based on the Annual School Census report, we now have over 775,000 out-of-school children. This prompted us to embark on another massive back to school campaign across the state.
‘We are targeting to bring back 200,000 out-of-school children, including the Al-Majirai to school this year through the Back to School and Behavioural Change campaign.’
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