By Gift Samuel, The Sight News
Abuja- In a bid to gather data for educational planning, decision-making, research, national and global reporting and to reduce the number of out-of-school children, the Federal Government has flagged off the 2017/2018 Annual School Census exercise.
Speaking on Tuesday at the flag-off in Abuja, the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu said that the annual school Census cycle signals the simultaneous commencement of the enumeration of all schools, pupils, teachers and facilities in the basic and post-basic school levels in the thirty six(36) states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Mal. Adamu further stated that the conduct of the annual school census which is to make the school environment nice and generate data while the children are kept in school, is in line with the provision of the Nigeria Education Management Information System Policy of 2017 which provides for the collection of education data beginning from the school.
He expressed hopes that this year’s census will provide reliable data that will lead to proper planning, management and administration of education in Nigeria, announcing that geo-positioning of schools have started to help in getting the exact accurate number of schools and validating the Annual School Census data collection.
“I hope all those involved in the Annual School Census to take this particular activity with all diligence so that we can build on the achievement recorded last year. It is important we get our data right, because we will soon be putting the operational plan of the new Ministerial Strategic Plan into action” he said.
Earlier, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Sonny Echono noted that the flag-off of the School Census in February is as a result of the resolution from the maiden edition of the National Conference on Education Management Information System, urging States to adhere strictly to the time table so as to timely and holistically report Nigeria education data to the national and global stakeholders.
Echono further charged states to take the exercise serious in order to make way for every learner’s environment to be accessed, harnessed and accurate and empirical data obtained for out of school children in Nigeria.
In his presentation, the Deputy Director, Statistics and NEMIS, Mr. Matthews Nganjiozor while giving a breakdown of data for enrolment in private and public schools, stated that in 2011/2012 there was 60,000 pre-primary/ primary enrollment for public schools and 31,000 for private schools and in 2015/2016 there was 62,000 for public and 34,000 for private making it 96,000.
He noted that a lot is still lacking as not all the schools have been captured. “We want to see how to make sure that all these are put together and get them onboard for us to have empirical data in terms of measuring out of school children and from there we will know the next level and solution to out-of-school children syndrome in Nigeria” he said.
The exercise is titled; “Making every learner’s environment count: A panacea for the dearth of empirical education data and as a way of solving the problem of out-of-school children in Nigeria”.
Image credit: dailynigerian.com