BY SUNNY A. IJOMAH
No fewer than 90,000 children in Anambra State are out of school.
A Research Fellow of the Institute for Development Studies, University of Nigeria, Dr. Ben Nwosu stated this on Wednesday in Awka at a work organised
by a non-governmental organisation, Evidence and Collaboration for Inclusive Development/Christian Aid.
He described the statistics as worrisome putting into consideration that Anambra is amongst educationally advantaged States.
Dr. Nwosu said his findings showed that parents claimed to be paying school fees for their children and wards despite the free education policy professed by the State’s government.
The Research Fellow said, “It’s quite worrying because based on official statistics, Anambra is one of the educationally advantaged States. It’s more worrying when you go into the field and see the wide gap existing between the rural and urban locations.
“Maybe, what exists in more developed parts of the State swallows those of the rural areas where you see dilapidated infrastructure with pupils running around due to absence of teachers.
He called on the State government to conduct school census to find out existing infrastructure, manpower and general data in the education sector for intervention, planning and budgeting.
Speaking, the Commissioner for Economic Planning, Budget and Development Partners, Mr. Mark Okoye said the findings from the workshop would assist the State government in policy formulation and data planning, stressing that he would engage relevant MDAs towards addressing some of the concerns.
He said, ”Despite that, the State keeps publishing its data, including GDP reports and Public Finance Management.
“That’s why we’re partnering Christian Aid who built a portal for us which is one of the biggest achievements in the synergy,” he added.