Nigeria’s first lady, Aisha Buhari has described the population of out-of-school children as sickening and a disaster not only to the north but Nigeria as a whole.
The first lady who made the remark during the inauguration of her pet project, Future Assured Youth Education and Empowerment Programme, which would train 750 young persons in Adamawa, said the situation required government’s urgent attention.
She said, “The case is most disheartening in the northern states where insurgency, poverty and our socio-cultural norms have played key roles in further worsening what is left of the ruins of dilapidated structures, insufficient and poorly motivated teachers at all levels.”
She said education deprivation in northern Nigeria was driven by factors such as economic barriers and socio-cultural norms and practices that discourage attendance in formal education, especially for girls.
Mrs Buhari, who was represented by Dr Abba Tahir, Vice-President American University of Nigeria, Yola, called for sustained actions to tackle the phenomenon of out-of-school children in the country.
She said, “We cannot abandon them. We must realise that all development issues are interrelated and unless we figure out a way of addressing the root causes in education, health, nutrition, agriculture and economic empowerment, holistically. We may never create a balance in our development.”