The Ministry of Education on Tuesday launched the 2017/2018 Annual School Census, aimed at solving the problem of out-of-school children.
The Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, said at the ceremony in Abuja that the census was designed to obtain the accurate number of schools and validate the figures.
The theme of the launch is “Making Every Learner’s Environment Count: A Panacea for the Dearth of Empirical Education Data and as a way of solving the problem of out-of-school Children Syndrome in Nigeria”.
The minister said that five states had already been mapped and placed on the website www.nemis.gov.ng for accessibility by all.
“Imo, Edo, Ondo, Kogi and Taraba states have keyed into this initiative and we hope all states will key into this exercise and link up so that our data could be validated promptly.’’
He said the launch signalled the simultaneous commencement of the enumeration of all schools, pupils, teachers and facilities at the basic and post-basic levels in the 36 states and FCT.
“The conduct of the Annual School Census is in line with the provision of the Nigeria Education Management Information System Policy of 2007 which provides for the collection of education data beginning from the school.
“Thus, the Education Management Information System processes have since 2009 been decentralised to the states in order to enhance efficiency in the collection, collation, management and dissemination of credible, reliable and timely data in Nigeria.
He added that the ministry, through NEMIS, would coordinate and monitor the process, while states would conduct the exercise.
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The minister called for cooperation and full participation of the military, paramilitary, private schools, almajari centres and integrated Quranic schools in the exercise.
Earlier, the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Mr Sonny Echono, urged federal and states education ministries as well as development partners to organise training on school records keeping for head teachers and principals.
He said that the Federal Ministry of Education, in collaboration with UNICEF, had organised trainings on school records keeping in 27 States and the FCT.
He said the training would continue until all school heads in the basic and post basic levels were trained and cascaded to other teachers in the system.
He, therefore, urged states to take the exercise serious collect more accurate and reliable data.
Also, Mr Adebayo Solomon, Education Specialist and Consultant at the World Bank, stressed the need to improve data collection mechanism in the country.
Solomon said that the 611 million-dollar project targets the utilisation of 90 per cent of the money to ensure the return of children to school, adding that it would last for five years.