Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo state led Government on Monday expressed his readiness to put into use the BESDA take-off grant, towards educating about 170, 536 out-of-school children in 23 Local Government Areas and ensure their retention in schools.
The Chairman, Oyo State Universal Basic Education Board, Dr. Nureni Adeniran made this known after a two-day interactive session held in Ibadan, on implementation of World Bank assisted Better Education Service Delivery for all, on Monday.
Dr. Adeniran reiterated that Oyo State Government has resolved to effectively take off the street all out-of-school children and put them in public schools, saying the programme would cater for hawkers and Almajiris in the State.
“Despite all the hiccups, I strongly believe that the essence of BESDA, which is to effectively take all the out-of-school children off the streets and draw them back to schools, will be accomplished in Oyo State”.
Expressing displeasure on the outrageous number of out-of-school children in the state, Dr. Adeniran stated that, the state Government would ensure that a total of 62, 733 hawkers were taken back to school, while 107, 803 Almajiris would be taken off the streets in the Oke-Ogun region of the state.
He revealed that the Board had embarked on strategies that would ensure all out-of-school-children are returned to schools before year-2022.
“Oyo state as one of the participating states, would ensure that all out-of-school-children are brought back to schools within the years of the programme implementation in the country as a whole”, he stated.
The Chairman also promised that the State Government, under the leadership of Gov. Seyi Makinde would pay undivided attention to reduction in the number of out-of-school children, improve their literacy level and strengthen the education system.
Speaking earlier at the occasion, the Head, Coordination Support Team, BESDA, Mallam Iro Umar expressed optimism that Oyo State has a good team to implement BESDA project.
He further noted that the State, through Oyo State Universal Basic Education Board, has met necessary parameters and has what it takes to drive the programme to a fruitful end.
Oyo State Government would receive an initial BESDA grant of $3Million, to kick off the programme in Ona-ara, Kajola, Surulere, Saki West, Akinyele, Olorunsogo, Iseyin, Saki East, Oyo West, Ogbomosho South, Ogbomosho North & Iwajowa.
Other Local Government Areas are, Ogo-Oluwa, Ibadan South East, Oriire, Oluyole, Afijio, Oyo West, Ibadan South East, Egbeda, Oreloope, Ibarapa Central and Ibadan North East.