Ninety thousand children in Anambra State are out of school, according to a study carried out by a research group, Evidence and Collaboration for Inclusive Development (ECID).
This was contained in a presentation by a research fellow at the Institute for Development Studies, University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), Dr Ben Nwosu, in Awka at a workshop organised by ECID.
According to Prof Nwosu, the statistics is worrisome given that Anambra is among the educationally advantaged states in the country.
He said findings showed that parents claimed to be paying school fees for their children and wards despite the free education policy professed by the state government.
He said, “It’s quite worrying because, based on official statistics, Anambra is one of the educationally advantaged states. It’s more worrying when you go into the field and see the wide gap existing between the rural and urban locations.”
Dr Nwosu, therefore, called on the state government to conduct a school census to find out existing infrastructure, manpower and general data in the education sector for intervention, planning and budgeting.
Reacting to the poor data issue, the Commissioner for Economic Planning, Budget and Development Partners, Mark Okoye, said the findings from the workshop would assist the state government in policy formulation and data planning, stressing that he would engage relevant MDAs towards addressing some of the concerns.