The Federal Government yesterday urged rulers and religious leaders to join forces to reduce the number of out-of-school children estimated at 10.1 million by 2018 National Personnel Audit conducted by Universal Basic Education Commission.
This is as the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) called for an end to Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) strike.
CAN also demanded the return of mission schools to their original owners as a way to arrest the gradual erosion of values and morals in schools.
Executive Secretary of Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) Dr Hamid Bobboyi and Secretary-General of CAN Joseph Daramola spoke in Abuja at a one-day consultative meeting of National Planning Committee on 2022 National Personnel Audit (NPA) with religious leaders on modalities for the conduct of NPA in basic education institutions.
The first phase of the school census exercise would commence on June 6 in the South.
Bobboyi, represented by Deputy Executive Secretary (Services) Dr Isiaka Kolawole acknowledged the roles played by traditional rulers and religious leaders in implementation of Universal Basic Education (UBE) in the country.
He urged them to collaborate with government in addressing the challenge of out-of-school children while ensuring that quality basic education was delivered to the citizenry.
The UBEC chief said the dearth of data on basic education had remained a challenge to its implementation as education planners and decision-makers had to make do with data that were not up-to-date or falsified.
He said it was against this backdrop that the commission, with states and FCT Universal Basic Education boards, conducted national personal audits in 2006, 2010 and 2018, adding that the 2018 exercise was more comprehensive as it covered all categories of public and private education institutions, unlike previous exercises that were limited to public schools.
The UBEC chief said: “We are in the process of conducting another audit of educational institutions offering full or elements of basic education. This is for the purpose of collecting school data on enrolment, personnel, and facilities, among others.