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Yahaya seeks UNICEF’s support to reduce rate of out-of-school children in Gombe

Yahaya seeks UNICEF’s support to reduce rate of out-of-school children in Gombe
September 19
11:33 2023

Inuwa Yahaya, governor of Gombe, has solicited the support of the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) in addressing the issue of out-of-school children in the state.

Yahaya, who is attending the 78th meeting of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA78), spoke with journalists on Monday at the Millennium Hotel in New York.

The governor said Gombe had over 500,000 children who were not in school in 2019, adding that the figure has now surged to about 600,000.

“Well, as a subnational, whatever affects the nation, Nigeria affects us. In fact, it is a combination of the states that makes the Federation. So we’ll be meeting and engaging other world leaders to support Mr President in order to deliver on the needs of Nigerian people,” he said.

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“For Gombe, I have been able to meet with UNICEF, UNFPA, and other agencies of the United Nations in order to make sure that we get the support required so that we can uplift the lives and livelihoods of our people.

“Specifically in terms of UNFPA, in terms of supporting the democratic development in various strata, agencies like UNICEF, we are seeking support, especially for the girl-child education.

“Yes, especially in the north-east subregion where there’s a lot of challenges with regards to insurgency and the consequential effect of displacement of the people and the background of the people not really engaging in terms of Western education.

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“So we’re collaborating so that those two issues at least will be resolved once and for all in the near future.”

The governor blamed insecurity-fuelled displacement for the spike in the rate of out-of-school children in Gombe.

“By 2019, according to the UNICEF account, there were 550,000 out-of-school children in Gombe alone and as of today, the numbers have risen up because of the settlement or rehabilitation of some people from the displaced states. You know, we share a boundary with the remaining five states of the north-east,” he said.

“Therefore, most of them have relocated due to Gombe’s security and safety, adding to our own issues, and we must choose where and how.

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“There ought to be around 600,000 by now, in my estimation. But in the past three or four years, we have been able to accept 350,000, and our goal is to ensure that each child in Gombe receives a quality education for free, at the very least up to the basic education, in accordance with the principles of universal free education as guided by the sustainable development goals.”

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