By Angela Atabo
FlexiSAF Foundation, a non-governmental organisation, on Saturday advocated for more synergy among education stakeholders for proper coordination of funds to tackle the challenge of out-of-school children in Nigeria.
The Team Lead, FlexiSAF Foundation, Amina Abubakar made the call during the foundation’s Fitness and Advocacy programme tagged “Walk for Education’’ as part of activities to mark the 2021 Human Rights Day, in Abuja.
According to Abubakar, the walk was necessary to raise support for education in line with the foundation’s focus of providing access to education for underprivileged children to solve the scourge of illiteracy.
“We are doing this because we realise that education is not getting the attention that it deserves in this country.
“We believe that there is a lot of resources being pumped into the space, but there is no enough accountability.
“For example, from the Universal Basic Education Commission over the past two years, we heard that more than 500 million dollars both from sponsors and government have been pumped into education.
“So why are we still hearing that more than 10 million children are out of school? We think this is not proper, and there should be a reason for this.’’
Abubakar said that another reason the nation’s education challenges were not being solved in spite of a lot of donations from international and local partners, was lack of coordination.
“We want proper coordination of major education stakeholders’ efforts that are channeled towards out-of -school children.’’
Access to education is everybody’s mandate, there is need for people to support by either contributing their resources or by raising their voices, she added.
According to her, the coordination is needed to take children off the streets, “otherwise such children are a time bomb waiting to explode in form of social vices as seen today in the activities of bandits, terrorists, kidnappers, among others”.
Mr Hamzat Lawal, a Malala Fund education champion and the Chief Executive Officer, Connected Development (CODE), said education is the bedrock of every nation.
Lawal said that if every child irrespective of where they were in Nigeria got educated, it would reduce social vices across the country.
“Today, girls are being raped because they are hawking on the streets, girls are being abused because they don’t have opportunity to go to school.
“We believe that schools provide a safe place for girls to meet their potentials in life and believe that for Nigeria to achieve the SDG goals, every child must get timely and quality education in Nigeria.’’
Lawal called on state governors to collaborate with local governments and join effort with civil society, traditional and religious institutions to achieve that.
He urged state governments to build infrastructures and consolidate the school feeding programme to increase school enrolment.
The Team Lead, Modern Shelter, Habiba Audu, encouraged Nigerians to come up with initiatives that would support children to go back to school.
Audu said that education is life and a basic necessity for everyone, as such government should support organisations like FlexiSAF to do more and enroll more children into schools.
An Education activist, Nafisah Buba commended FlexiSAF for the initiative and encouraged everyone to make a commitment to support education.
“Please just make effort and do what you can in whatever little way,’’ she said.(NAN)