Ebonyi state is one of the 17 states in Nigeria implementing the Better Education Service Delivery for All (BESDA) Program.
BESDA is a World Bank supported program which focuses on three Result Areas of:
- Increasing equitable access for out-of-school children
- Improving literacy, and
- Strengthening Accountability for Results in basic education in Nigeria.
The Program was launched by the State Government on 19th August, 2019 at Akanu Ibiam International Conference Centre, Abakaliki. The BESDA launch was well attended by the Political Class across the state including the Governor of Ebonyi state, His Excellency, Engr. Chief (Dr.) David Nweze Umahi FNSE, FNATE, members of the State Executive Council, members of the State House of Assembly, Chairmen and members of Boards, Commissions and Agencies, Local Government Chairmen, Development Centre Coordinators, Traditional Rulers among other education stakeholders.
Others include; the Executive Secretary of the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), Dr. Hammid Boboyi, the National Program Coordinator of BESDA, Prof. Gidado Tahir, Representative of the World Bank Country Director, officials of UBEC, Federal Ministry of Finance, Federal Ministry of Education, members of the Civil Society Organisations, Non Governmental Organisations and the general public.
The issue of out-of-school children is not only peculiar to Ebonyi state in particular, but a National and global challenge. Nigeria stands out globally in its high number of out-of-school children. For instance, in 2013, Nigeria had the largest number of out-of-school children of primary age (8.7 million), followed by Pakistan (5.6 million) and India (2.9 million) according to reports. No doubt, the large number of out-of-school children is the result of a wide range of factors that vary by state and geographic location. The issues of household poverty, loss of parents/guardian, crises that result in displacement of people including the children and destruction of schools, perceived low benefits of education, far distance of schools, poor leaning environment, inadequate teaching personnel/materials among others are major factors contributing to out-of-school children in Nigeria.
However, this issue of out-of-school children needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency, because the human capital will continue to suffer with severe negative consequences for the state and the country’s poverty alleviation, growth, security and competitiveness prospects.
It is in recognition of this that Ebonyi State Government under the leadership of His Excellency, Engr. Chief (Dr.) David Nweze Umahi FNSE, FNATE, has charged the State Universal Basic Education Board, the Local Government Councils and Development Centres to mobilise all the Ebonyi children who are out-of-school within and outside the state as part of their responsibilities to take advantage of the BESDA program as well as the free education (Basic to Senior secondary) of the state government to register or re-enrol. Parents have equally been charged and encouraged to support the education of their children since the ‘Education for all is the responsibility of all’. Truly, this has started to pay-off as more than 23,000 out-of-school children in the state have been mobilised and registered both in primary and Junior secondary schools and they are also provided with education support packages and other incentives to ensure their retention and completion.
Apart from the mobilisation of out-of-school children back to school, the State has equally procured the Early Grade Reading Books and as well conducted the first stage training of teachers (Master Training) under the literacy improvement program of BESDA to boost the learning outcome.
Download Data; EBONYI DATA ON OUT OF SCHOOL NOVERNMBER 2019