WorldStage NewsOnline—-The Ebonyi State Government has promised continuous collaboration with stakeholders in the education sector to sustain the ongoing campaign against low school enrolment in the state.
Dr Steve Odoh, the Commissioner for Education in Ebonyi disclosed this in an interview in Abakaliki.
Ebonyi is among the 17 states in Nigeria listed by the United Nations International Children Education Fund (UNICEF) as having the lowest school enrolment.
He said that the Bring Back Out-of-School Children campaign launched in Ebonyi recently must be sustained in order to achieve the goal of the campaign.
Odoh noted that an uneducated person would become a menace and security threat to the society in future, adding that no effort would be spared in ensuring that every Ebonyi child received the best education at affordable cost.
The commissioner lauded Gov. Dave Umahi of Ebonyi for mobilising resources to address infrastructure decay in the state-owned primary and post-primary schools.
He said: “The issue of Bring Back Out-of-School Children is a reaction to our low school enrolment rate; and when we talk about enrolment, we are looking at the number of children we enrolled into our basic education.
“Seventeen states have been identified as having challenges with child enrolment into the basic education; Ebonyi is among the states, and the only state in the South-East, this is not a good record for our state.
“So, it is our responsibility as stakeholders, as concerned parents, traditional rulers, council chairmen and councillors, to think of a permanent solution to the challenges.
“The issue is not what the governor will tackle alone; it needs our collective intervention, a concerted effort by all stakeholders to ensure that by September, when the new academic session begins, that we can change the narrative.
“No matter what we do as a ministry or what the governor does as a government, the children are with their parents; and hence, the sense of responsibility must be brought to bear on this initiative to ensure sustainability,” Odoh said.
He called on the media to identify with the project through effective reportage and sensitisation of the public.
“The way the media package the news, the information to the rural areas, will influence their understanding of the challenges before us.
“We are having a very bad statistics as a state, and we are committed to changing the narrative hence, we are calling on everybody including the media, traditional rulers, political and educational stakeholders to collaborate, to address the situation,” the commissioner said.
Odoh insisted that the campaign would focus on building stronger synergy with the stakeholders, to ensure that children of school age were not allowed to hawk on the streets or taken to Onitsha or Lagos to serve as house helps when they should be in school.