By James Ogunnaike, Abeokuta
Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun has identified qualitative education as a means of keeping citizens away from criminal tendencies such as banditry and kidnapping, among others.
Abiodun, who said this at the official flag-off of the National Campaign on Out-of-school Children, held at the Oba’s complex, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta, said “education of our children is not only a parental duty, it is also a sacred one, ordained by God, stressing that all hands must be on deck’’.
Abiodun therefore appealed to all stakeholders in the education sector in the State to see the future of children as a collective responsibility.
He said, “sound education to an extent keeps citizens away from criminal tendencies such as banditry, kidnapping. All of us must join hands to ensure that more of our children are in school”.
The governor noted that well educated citizens create economic potentials for personal growth and socio-economic development of the community as a whole, adding that the pivotal role of education in engendering development in all sectors of the social life of the people must be appreciated.
He stated that the huge investment of his administration in the education sector was yielding results, saying the rate of enrollment of school children in the State from 2019 to 2021 had increased from 1,446, 522 to 1,707,580.
He assured the federal government of complementing its effort at improving basic education funding through maintenance and rehabilitation of pubic schools’ infrastructure across the State.
The governor noted that the State had introduced Ogun State Education Management Information System and the Learners’ Identification Number to address the challenges of out-of-school children in the State, adding that recruitment of 5000 teachers under the Ogun Teach Programme had enhanced the teacher-student ratio.
“We are about to launch our education trust fund that will allow us to begin to intervene in addition to what State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) is doing. Education is the future of any country and certainly, in Ogun State, we want to be proactive in dealing with this situation, for every child who is of school age, we must ensure that they stay in school”.
Earlier in his remarks, the Minister of State for Education, Rt. Hon. Goodluck Opiah, aplauded Governor Abiodun on the giant strides embarked upon by his administration to position the State in the rightful place for national and global competitiveness, noting that his efforts were highly commendable.
Opiah pointed out that the country had the highest number of out-of-school children in sub Saharan Africa, saying it was imperative to find solutions to the issue.
The Minister stated that the Ministry was aware of the effort of the State government in providing a conducive environment for teaching and learning, adding that it would not hesitate to exchange ideas on ways of putting an end to out-of-school children in the country.
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