While presenting the report during the plenary on Tuesday, the Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Oluwafemi Fowokanmi, disclosed that enforcement of the UBE Act and law will make provision of free and universal basic education compulsory for all children in primary and junior secondary schools in the state.
The Committee, in line with the directive of the state House of Assembly, interacted with the officials of the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Inclusion and Oyo State Universal Education Board (SUBEB) to assess the level of implementation of Better Education Service Delivery for All (BESDA).
Hon. Fowokanmi expressed that BESDA is a five years initiative financed by the World Bank to strengthen the basic education programme and curb the menace of Out-of-School Children in Nigeria.
He disclosed that Oyo State, according to the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey conducted by the United Nation Children Fund in 2016 has the highest number of Out-of-School Children in the South Western zone of the country.
The lawmaker, who is representing Ibadan South West state constituency, said in order to curtail the prevalence of Out-of-School Children in Oyo State, the World Bank/UBEC intervention was carried out in 750 centers spreading across 21 local government areas of the state.
In his recommendations, Hon. Fowokanmi appealed to the state government to make release of funds to run the BESDA programme and sensitisation and awareness to the members of the public a priority.
The lawmaker also called on the well-meaning Nigerian, old students, corporate organisation and communities to join hands with the government in providing school support packages such as uniforms, textbooks, exercise books, sandals and bags for schools.
“The executive arm of government should intensify enforcement of the UBE Act (2004) and Oyo State Free Compulsory Basic Education Law (2005) for further provision of compulsory free, universal basic education for all children in primary and junior secondary school in the state. Government through the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology should establish schools across the nooks and corners of communities that are deficient of Basic Education schools in the State, an education task force initiative should be inaugurated to reach out to the Out-of-School children and withdraw them from the streets, markets, farms, etc.
“Establishment of crafts villages and increasing number of vocational centers to engage these children usefully and meaningfully. The School Based Management Committee (SBMC) and School Governing Boards (SGB) should be made more effective and functional in schools and the state government should also consider scaling up of Home-Grown School Feeding Programme to include all students in primary schools and classes so as to serve as incentive for increase in basic enrolment,” the lawmaker said.