A multi-stakeholder forum to find ways of helping thousands of poor students have access to and pay for basic education will hold in Abuja on Thursday. Currently, one out of every five out of-school children, is a Nigerian child.
The Federal Government’s free basic education programme does not cover children throughout secondary school.
It ends at Junior Secondary School after which students have to pay their way for the next three years.
“The result has been catastrophic, as millions of children who cannot afford to pay are left behind”, a statement by the hosts, OpenFees Educational Aid Foundation said.
The Forum, which comes up at 10am in Valencia Hotel, Abuja, is the first by OpenFees and is being hosted in collaboration with Malala Fund, Give Girls a Chance, Child and Youth Protection Foundation and other development partners.
Stakeholders from government, students, parents, educationists, researchers and members of the civil society are expected to participate in the one-day Forum, which will among other things, discuss the challenges and strategies for improving access to basic education for indigent students with emphasis on the financial and psychosocial cost of basic education in Nigeria.
The Universal Basic Education (UBE) programme in Nigeria was launched in 1999 with the goal of providing free, universal and compulsory basic education for every Nigerian child.
The progamme which officially took off five years later after the signing of the UBE Act has been plagued with several challenges.
The Forum will also allow stakeholders to address challenges, share views, highlight real-life experiences and around the financial and psychosocial cost of basic education in Nigeria.
OpenFees said it would share lessons learned from its projects with schools in the last two years, and facilitate linkages and collaboration in the educational sector.
Panel discussions will cover law and policies on basic education in Nigeria; psychosocial cost of basic education in Nigeria; and collaborative methods to solve the problem of basic education in Nigeria.