Saturday, April 20, 2024

NAPTAN wants more government action on reduction of out-of-school children

The school feeding programme under the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Tinubu aims to improve the health and educational outcomes of public primary school pupils.

• February 17, 2024
out-of-school children
out-of-school children used to illustrate the story[ UNICEF]

The National Parent-Teacher Association of Nigeria (NAPTAN) has called for the commencement of the National Home-Grown School Feeding Programme (NHGSFP) to reduce the out-of-school children in the country.

Adeolu Ogunbanjo, deputy national chairman of NAPTAN, made the call in an interview with journalists on Saturday in Lagos.

The school feeding programme under the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Tinubu aims to improve the health and educational outcomes of public primary school pupils.

Mr Ogunbanjo, who lauded Mr Tinubu for the N100 billion allocation for the programme in the 2024 budget, said ‘it was time for it to kick off.”

According to him, the government is doing a lot to address the issue of out-of-school children by coming up with such an Initiative, but people want to see the reality.

“The idea behind this NHGSFP is to attract children who are of school age but are still at home for various reasons to the school system, whereby they will have the opportunity to get a formal education and to also feed them during the school hours.

“ I’m optimistic that parents who are also facing the challenge of living up to their responsibility both in feeding and sending their children to school will grab the opportunity and encourage their wards,” he added.

Mr Ogunbanjo emphasised that more needed to be done in the area of security to return children to school.

“Insecurity has remained a challenge that has left fear and doubts whereby some parents no longer want to send their wards to school.

“Some parents have deliberately pulled and denied their children from going to school due to cases of kidnapping in the country; this calls for serious concern as it’s also a contributory factor to out-of-school children menace,” he said.

The NAPTAN boss noted that only a few states were aligning with the standard of the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) of allocating at least 26 per cent of the annual budgets to education.

Mr Ogunbanjo urged governments at various levels yet to key into the UNESCO standard to do so, adding that it would go a long way to improve the sector.

(NAN)

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