President of the Nigerian Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has said that out-of-school children were a big challenge facing Nigeria as a country.
According to Lawan, the problem constitutes not only social but security problems to the country as a whole.
He said, “We all know that the out-of-school-children are at the moment a big problem to us as a country.
“They constitute not only social problems, but also security problems to some extent.
“Therefore, it is our responsibility to do whatever we can to ensure that they are enrolled in primary and secondary schools.”
Sponsor of the motion, Senator Adamu Aliero (APC, Kebbi Central), noted that over the years the Nigerian Government had made efforts to reduce the menace of street begging by introducing the Universal Primary Education in 1976 and Universal Basic Education in 1999.
According to the lawmaker, the past administration of Goodluck Jonathan embarked on a laudable project by building Almajiri integrated model schools in which children in Northern Nigeria were enrolled and given both Islamic and a Western education.
He lamented that currently, “some of the structures are either laying fallow or put into uses other than what they were originally intended.”
The Senate urged government to come up with ways and means of collaborating with state governments on how to enrol the 14 million children out of school.