By Ruth Oketunde
Stakeholders in the education sector have identified multiple school levies as one of the key factors driving Nigerian children out of school.
The stakeholders spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the sidelines of a ground-breaking summit on Nigeria’s out-of-school crisis, hosted by the UK charity, IA-Foundation, which ended in Lagos on Sunday.
The theme of the summit was: “Street to School: Panacea to a Menace”.
In her contribution, the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of IA-Foundation, Mrs Ibironke Adeagbo, argued that government at all levels should take immediate steps to discourage multiple levies in schools.
She said that multiple levies in schools were imposing heavy burdens on many parents, forcing them to resort to the option of withdrawing their children and wards from schools.
According to her it has become imperative to apply practical, proactive and pragmatic approaches for Nigeria to change the narrative in the out-of-school crisis.
The British-born Adeagbo, who has thrown her hat into the ring to make the difference in Nigeria’s education sector, lamented that having 20.2 million out-of-school children in Nigeria was distressing.
“In global comparison, one out of every five out-of-school children is in Nigeria.
“UNESCO says that Nigeria has 20.2 million children out of school, which give or take is 10 per cent of our population.
“If this does not keep you awake at night, I wonder what does.
“This menace should be a burning issue and should no longer be business as usual.
“Together, we shall strive to make a difference that will help change the current trajectory,” Adeagbo said.
On her part, Mrs Mojisola Hunponu-Wusu, a panelist at the event, said that everyone must contribute to the reduction of out-of-school children in Nigeria.
“Members of the family should realise that there must be a contribution to that and reallocation of what they consider a priority for children both male and female to be educated to optimal levels,” she added.
Also speaking, a traditional ruler, Oba Adedokun Abolarin, commended IA-Foundation for raising the bar by taking young Nigerian children back to school.
“I commend your vision for ensuring a better future for our country through the activities of IA-Foundation.
“I commend you for tenaciously doing what many of us ought to be doing as social entrepreneurs and as people who can pivot into the future using the past as a model,” he said.(NAN)(www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Silas Nwoha