States commissioners for education all over the country have decried the escalating rate of out-of-school pupils, particularly in the north-eastern part of the country, as a result of the activities of terrorist Boko Haram sect.
The commissioners expressed deep concern over the fate of education in the north-east, calling on stakeholders to rise up to the challenges.
In a communiqué issued at the end of the meeting by the States Commissioners of Education Forum and made available on Thursday to our correspondent in Calabar, the commissioners said it has become imperative to protect education in the country, particularly the north-east, in the face of insurgency by Boko Haram.
The communiqué, which was signed by the chairman of the forum, Prof. Offiong Offiong, who is the Cross River State Commissioner for Education, noted that the geo-political zone already has the highest number of out-of-school children in Nigeria.
The forum condemned in totality the gruesome murder of several pupils and teachers of the Federal Government College, Buni,
Yadi in Yobe State by the terrorist group.
It said, “The forum assessed the state of education across the country and expressed deep concern at the fate of education in the north-east geo-political zone. It particularly condemned in totality the gruesome murder of several pupils and teachers of the Federal Government College, Buni, Yadi, Yobe State, by the suspected Boko Haram terrorist group.
“It particularly urged all stakeholders in Nigeria to rise and protect education in the country, particularly north-east in the face of the Boko Haram terrorist insurgence which is likely to escalate the rate of out-of-school children in the geo-political zone that already has the highest number of out-of-school children in Nigeria as many parents have withdrawn their children due to insecurity.”
The forum also took a look at the current face-off between the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnic, College of Education Academic Staff Union and the Federal Government, and appealed to to all stakeholders to resolve the impasse and work towards resumption.
It, however, commended the West African Examination Council for their cooperation with state ministries of education in ensuring hitch-free conduct of Senior School Certificate Examination, urging the body to partner with states in proper conduct of examinations.