Enrolment of Pupils soars in the North-East

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A survey by the News Agency of Nigeria indicates an uptick in enrolment of pupils in the North-East after the severe disruption of education occasioned by the insurgency.
States in the region have intensified efforts to encourage enrolment of pupils into primary schools following the return of peace to the area. Stakeholders in the area say that the Federal Government’s Home-Grown School Feeding Programme is playing a huge role in getting pupils to remain in school.
The Borno State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) says it has registered 247, 877 pupils comprising 142,589 boys and 132, 288 girls enrolled in 623 public primary schools in the state for the 2018 academic year.
According to the Chairman of the Borno SUBEB, Mr. Shettima Kullima, owing to the severe damage wrought by the insurgency, 1,346 schools require rehabilitation and equipment with classroom furniture as well as instructional materials.
He attributed the increase in enrolment and retention in schools to the improved security situation and disclosed that the Board has concluded arrangements for the commencement of the school feeding programme in designated schools.
Also commenting, Mr. Bulama Abiso, the Chairman of the Borno State chapter of the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT), said the union has initiated a feeding programme targeting 1,000 displaced pupils to encourage them to remain in school. He said that the union is spending about N1 million monthly on the feeding exercise in some selected schools in the state capital.
The Gombe State Government says it has begun preparations for the implementation of the Home-Grown School Feeding programme across the state. Figures obtained from the Gombe SUBEB indicate that there are 1, 378 pre-primary and primary schools in the state. 5,186 pupils have enrolled in kindergarten consisting of 2,693 males and 2,493 females, while enrolment in primary schools stands at 625, 904, of which 432,567 are males and 193,337 are females.
In Bauchi, had a 36 percent increase in enrolment figures is attributed to the provision of meals under the school feeding programme in the 2016/2017 academic session. The programme is also credited with assisting in the retention of pupils and the elimination of absenteeism in schools. Bauchi has 4,364 schools with a total pupil enrolment figure of 1,079,105, and 25, 827 teachers.
According to the Bauchi State Government, N1.5 billion has been spent on the implementation of the Home-Grown Schools Feeding Programme in the state with over 2,000 schools benefitting from the programme, involving 5,005 cooks feeding 501, 399 children.
In Yobe, the SUBEB which oversees 1,160 nursery and primary schools and 116 Junior Secondary schools said it could not provide enrolment figures because of the ongoing movement of displaced persons back to their communities.
However, the Board, in collaboration with UNICEF, has engaged in massive sensitization to boost enrolment in primary schools. According to the chairman, the state is not captured in the current school feeding programme of the federal government but expressed optimism that the state would be involved in the next phase.
In Adamawa, the State Ministry of Education presented a total primary school enrolment figure of 596, 000 pupils in 1,941 primary schools across the state with 24,000 registered teachers. The school feeding programme had not commenced in the state.

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