Out-of-School Children: Explanation Needed on DOTS Project

Nigeria’s recent move to overhaul the education sector, increase enrolment and ensure the academic security of schoolchildren is commendable. However, the government needs to provide citizens with specifics on this project.

Development Diaries reports that in a recent development, the Minister of State for Education, Tanko Sununu, announced the commencement of a new project called ‘Data Repository, Out-of-School Children’s Education, Teacher Training and Development, and Skill Development and Acquisition’ (DOTS).

In a 2022 report, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) noted that 12.4 million children have never seen the inside of a classroom, and 5.9 million leave school earlier than the stipulated graduation time.

The minister needs to provide a detailed explanation of how this project would effectively identify and enrol these children, especially considering the diverse socio-economic and geographical barriers that contribute to their exclusion from education.

Also, while outlining the project, it would be beneficial for Nigerians to understand the specific strategies that will be employed to ensure sustained attendance and retention of these children in schools.

What measures are in place to address potential obstacles such as poverty, child labour, cultural resistance, and insecurity? These are factors that have contributed to the increase in the number out-of-school children in the country.

Additionally, how does the project plan to integrate community involvement and support to create a conducive learning environment for these children?

Lastly, transparency and accountability are paramount for the success of such an ambitious laudable initiative.

Therefore, Development Diaries calls on the minister to elaborate on the mechanisms that will be put in place to monitor and evaluate the progress of the DOTS project: how the government will ensure that funds are utilised efficiently, and what role stakeholders, including civil society organisations, will play in the monitoring process.

Nigerians deserve to know the specifics of this plan to have confidence in its implemntation.

Photo source: Hon Dr Yusuf Tanko Sununu


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