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September 21, 2019

Poverty, unwanted pregnancies keep 51 percent Adamawa children from school

Fear of fees by poor parents has been identified as a leading reason why most children of school age in Adamawa State are not in schools.

Only 49 percent of school-age children in Adamawa State are in school, according to a nongovernmental organisation, African Centre for leadership Strategy & Development (Centre LSD), which did a research of school enrolment in the state.

The acting Executive Director of the NGO, Mr Monday Osasah, who made the disclosure in Yola during a training conference for education sector stakeholders towards raising school enrolment, especially for girls, said girls are particularly affected.

This, she said, is because they suffer from a widespread impression that education for girls is a waste as they would sooner than later be married off.

Osasah, who delivered lectures to community leaders during a two-day workshop in Yola on enhancing school enrolment, drew his conclusions from a research initiated by his NGO and published with funding from Malala Fund, with focus on three LGAs: Maiha, Song and Numan.

The report on the research, which our correspondent obtained, shows that while total population of persons of school age in the state in 2018 was 1,736,546; only 849,912 (49%) were enrolled in primary and secondary schools.

The report shows that while the total population of females aged 5-19 in the state was 843,024, only 383,380 (45.5%) were in school, leaving 459,644 out of school.

The research, which paid particular attention to girl-child education in the state, also listed fear of being captured by insurgents, early marriage, unwanted pregnancy and indifference to western education as other reasons for high number of out-of-school girls.

The research report recommends in-depth engagement of stakeholders to facilitate community action in favour of girl-child education, and critical interrogation of identified barriers by government and community stakeholders as some of the solutions to low school enrolment.

Osasah, who fielded questions from newsmen during the conference for community and education leaders from Maiha, said similar train-the-trainer conference had been held for stakeholders in Numan and Song LGAs.

The trainees, who are leaders with access to members of their communities, he said, would be expected to pass the education enrolment message to their people.

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