Government of Katsina state has disclosed that more than 360,000 children in the state have been enrolled in schools since 2019.
This was disclosed on Wednesday by director of social mobilisation, Katsina State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Abdulmalik Bello at a meeting with journalists on the back-to-school and behaviour change campaigns launched in the state.
According to Bello, a report published in 2018 showed that there are about 1.137 million out-of-school children across the 34 LGAs of the state.
“From that time, the state government in collaboration with UNICEF put in place necessary measures to tackle the issue,” he said.
“From 2019 to date, we were able to return more than 360,000 out-of-school children to school.
“With the present data we have on the ground through the annual school census report, we still have 775,000 out-of-school children in Katsina state.
“Before the end of 2021, we are aiming to return 200,000 children to school through the support of UNICEF.”
Speaking on the development, Lawal Buhari-Daura, Katsina SUBEB chairman who was represented by Isa Muhammad, the board’s secretary, said the COVID pandemic affected school enrolment in the state.
“We came up with this because after the distraction by the pandemic, many parents refused to return their children to school,” he said.
“Children stayed long without teaching and learning due to the pandemic. Hence, the back-to-school campaign became necessary.
“The behaviour of the children and their parents towards education also needs to be changed so that the children can stay and complete their schooling.
“Information dissemination is fundamental to achieving this target, hence the media is one of the major means of achieving our goals from now to 2030.”
According to Binta Abdulmumin, UNICEF focal person at the state’s ministry of education, Kafur and Kankara LGAs have the highest number of out-of-school children in the state.
Abdulmumin said UNICEF and the state government will launch an enrolment campaign in the two most affected LGAs to encourage more children to return to classrooms.