Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq, Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development says plans are on top gear to ensure the facilitation of implementation of the Alternate School Programme (ASP) is realised.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Farouq disclosed this in her address of welcome at the Fourth Meeting of the National Steering Committee (NSC) of the ASP on Tuesday in Abuja.
NAN also reports that the ASP has a mandate to improve access to education for all Nigerian children in alignment with Sustainable Development Goals number four which is aimed at ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promote modelling learning opportunities for all.
“This meeting is important as it provides the first opportunity for the Technical Working Group (TWG) of the ASP Committee to present their plan for the implementation of this ambitious scheme across the 36 States of the Federation, including the FCT.
“The Federal Government is committed to ensuring that all necessary things are done to facilitate the actualisation of the programme that will benefit millions of Out-of-School Children across the country.
“I want to commend the TWG for their effort in the provision of the operationalisation modalities of the programme.
“The programme targeting the problem of Out-of-School Children is brought about by the recognition that while education is a pathway out of poverty, it remains elusive and out of reach for some segments of vulnerable populations to accesss,” Farouq said.
The minister noted that with the leverage of on her Ministry’s Social Investment Programmes (NSIP), a platform had been provided for the vulnerable poor to be able to take advantage of educational opportunities through the ASP.
“We recognise that in providing a combination of a basic formal education curriculum with selected social investment programmes, we provide a pathway for this section of the vulnerable population to take a first step out of poverty in the long-term.
“The very nature of Out-of-School Children populations in Nigeria, the objectives of the ASP has determined that traditional approaches to educational programmes are not readily applicable.
“Today is the first step of many toward the execution of the programme and I remain grateful to all members of the NSC and the TWG for their respective contributions and support in bringing us this far,” Farouq said.
Meanwhile, the Minister of State for Education, Mr Chukwuemeka Nwaijuba appreciated the minister, members of the NSC and TWG for a job well done.
NAN reports that member of the TWG were drawn from the Presidency, NYSC, NSIP, Northern Governors Forum, National Population Commission, the National Bureau of Statistics and Save the Children.
Others are National Senior Citizen Centre, National Assembly, Federal Ministries of Education, Humanitarian Affairs, Women Affairs, Finance and Budget Planning and Civil Society Organisations. (NAN)