He added, “Nigeria does not lack solutions and recommendations to our problems, but what we are lacking is the will to implement these recommendations.
“This conference must not go the way others have gone in the past”, the Sultan emphasized.
In her speech, the Deputy Representative, UNICEF Nigeria, Pernille Ironside said that the Federal Ministry of Education (FME), Education for Change: A Ministerial Strategic Plan states that Nigeria has 10.5 million children aged 6-14 out of school.
“When we speak of out-of-school children, who are they? It is too easy to keep them nameless and faceless. The latest Mics data tells us that 69% of out-of-school children in Nigeria are in northern states. Bauchi has the highest number of out-of-school children -1.1 million and Katsina comes in second with 781,500 children out of school”, she said.
Speaking further, she said, “Together we can take the quantum leap to give more children the opportunity to go to and stay in school.”
“For Nigeria to achieve its Sustainable Development Goal targets for education, this is essential. Only quantum leaps today will enable Nigeria to achieve its social and economic goals for the future.”
Executive Secretary, UBEC, Hamid Bobboyi said the Out-of-school in Northern Nigeria is a cancerous phenomenon which if not address will lead to the collapse of the entire Northern Systems and their total demise.
“The North has to wake up on a long deep sleep. The world is moving fast with scienee and technology and the other parts of Nigeria are struggling to cateh-up with the rest of the world through their children education, but the north is wobbling and being drawn back by wrong perceptions of what constitute education and its true value in human and national development.”
“It is in the North that majority of the socio-cultural barriers to formal schooling have found a seemingly permanent dwelling place: Early marriage, especially of girls; pervading almajirai’ all over the northern streets; child labour; negative parental attitudes towards education of their children and wards; low parental literacy level; etc.”
“It is a source of worry and concern that the Northern Nigeria which hitherto had standing history for educational pursuit and development is today scornfully looked down upon nationally and being pity by the International Community for lack of educational development and fervid poverty”, Bobboyi said.