Vice President Osinbajo has blamed the states and local government for the rise in the number of out-of-school children in the country.
Osinbajo spoke in Abuja on Tuesday while declaring open a two-day national dialogue on girls with the theme ‘Towards a Girl-Friendly Nigeria’ organised by the African Child Policy Forum (ACPF) in collaboration with Women Arise for Change Initiative and the Africa-Wide Movement for Children, that most of the problems associated with Nigeria’s education sector are the responsibilities of state governments.
“We run a federal system and questions of education, medical care are essential state matters. Primary education is state and local government matter. The federal government has only about 100 schools of the hundreds of thousands of schools.
“Sometimes, when we talk about out- of-school children and problems associated with education, we tend to focus on the federal government whereas the federal government does not run primary school. That is not the business of FG. It is the business of state and local governments,” he said.
He urged states yet to domesticate the Child Rights Act and the Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Act to do so.
Osinbajo identified social and cultural prejudices as some of the critical problems militating against the girl child in Nigeria.
The Minister of Women Affairs, Pauline Tallen, said the girl child in Nigeria still faced a lot of challenges such as early marriage, rape and other forms of child abuse.
“There’s no day I do not receive such reports not only in Abuja but also all over the country,” she said.
Recalled that the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) which overseas provision of infrastructure to basic education in the country had last year claimed that there are 13.2million out of school children in Nigeria, thereby ranked as a country with the highest number of out of school children in the world.
Recalled also that the Chief Education of UNICEF, Terry Durnier once said the world would not help Nigeria solve the problem if it did not solve it by itself but should take on the challenge of reducing the number.