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Out-of-school children: Bauchi questions validity of UNICEF data

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Out-of-school children: Bauchi questions validity of UNICEF data

Story from Uji A. ILIYASU 

The Bauchi State Commissioner for Education, Dr Jamila Dahiru, has refuted the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) data on the number of out-of-school children in the state.

Dr Jamila dismissed UNICEF’s figure of  1.2 million children, questioning the criteria used in arriving at the reported figure.

UNICEF put the state as having the highest out-of-school children among the 36 states of the federation.

The commissioner who disclosed this at the ongoing ministerial press briefing in Bauchi, said significant progress has been made in ensuring children return to classes in the state.

She noted that currently, Bauchi State has 700,000 out-of-school children after enrolling over 500, 000 in schools.

The commissioner said the government is aware of the condition of the dilapidated schools in rural areas, adding that despite efforts to build and repair schools, there are still schools in need of urgent attention, adding that the ministry has achieved considerable success, including the renovation of 387 schools across Bauchi State, the construction of model schools in Yelwan Dugri, Mashema, and Dagauda, and the building of 86 toilets under the MARCHING grant programme.

READ ALSO: 18.3m children out of school in Nigeria UNICEF

She said under the Better Education Service Delivery For All (BESDA) programme, the ministry has also constructed 80 boreholes and 90 wells in schools to provide safe drinking water for students.

Dr Jamila further said the ministry has built three girls’ schools in Bauchi, Boto, and Azare, and has provided 30,474 seats in schools, among other achievements.

In his presentation, the chairman, Teachers’ Service Commission, Mal. Musa Wadata, said they had successfully promoted 6,615 teachers and employed 350 women teachers.

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