The North-east part of the country has been identified as leading the chart in the out-of-school children
This, the Commissioners of Education in the country, said is caused by low interest in western education and worsened by the activities of the terrorist group, Boko Haram.
At the end of the meeting of Statesâ€™ Commissioners of Education Forum [SCOEF] in Calabar, Cross River State, delegates after assessing the state of education in the federation expressed deep concern at the fate of education in the North-east geopolitical zone.
The commissioners said the rising activities of Boko Haram has escalated the rate of out-of-school children in the geopolitical zone â€œthat already has the highest number of out-of-school children in Nigeria, as many parents have withdrawn their children from schools due to insecurity.â€
The forum â€œparticularly condemned in totality the gruesome murder of several students and teachers of the Federal Government College, Buni Yadi, Yobe state by the suspected Boko Haram terrorist group.
It particularly urged all stakeholders “to rise and protect education in the country, especially in the North-Eastâ€™â€™ where children are now afraid of going to school because no one knows where and when the terrorists will strike, a development that has made education now irrelevant in that axis.
Also of interest to the commissioners was the current face-off between the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnic (ASUP), Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU) and the federal government.
They appealed to all stakeholders to resolve the impasse amicably and work speedily towards resumption of academic activities in all polytechnics and Colleges of Education in the interest of the nation.
The forum â€œacknowledged the collaboration between the statesâ€™ Ministries of Education and the Federal Ministry of Education, which had placed the sector on a consistent path of recovery and urged the Federal Ministry of Education to continue to carry the states along in the implementation of the National Policy on Education and the transformation agenda of Mr. President in the education sector in the country as a whole.â€™â€™
It commended the West African Examinations Council for its cooperation with statesâ€™ Ministries of Education in ensuring hitch-free conduct of the Senior School Certificate Examination as well as maintaining the sanctity of examinations conducted in the country and urged other examination bodies to partner the states in the proper conduct of their examinations.
The commissioners also â€œlauded the progress the education sector has recorded under the present administration and urged its sustenance. We appealed that all hands must be on deck at the local government, state and federal levels to ensure that access and quality of education delivery meets the global challenges of the 21st century.â€
The Cross River State Commissioner for Education, Prof. Offiong E. Offiong, who is also the chairman of the forum, signed the two-page communiquÃ©.