From Okwe Obi, Abuja
The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq, has assured parents and guardians that the Alternate School Programme (ASP) will benefit their children in order to encourage them to take their studies seriously.
Farouq, who gave the assurance at the second meeting of ASP national steering committee Tuesday in Abuja, urged them to provide quality contribution to make the scheme a success.
‘Following the success of the inauguration by Mr President and the subsequent inaugural meeting, it is apt to say that work has commenced towards actualising this all important programme.
‘In collaboration with the Ministry of Education, we have spent the last few weeks in engagement with various stakeholders, in a bid to refine and strengthen the ASP Concept towards successful implementation of this programme; for it is upon this foundation that we can begin to erect necessary building blocks.
‘I am pleased with the outcome of these engagements and I hope that the National Steering Committee is able to quickly adopt and ratify the Concept Note to enable us forge ahead as swiftly as possible.
‘Let us all remain mindful that the Alternate School Programme possesses the potential for every child to gain access to quality education, irrespective of social, cultural or economic standing, as well as provide a means of improving household incomes for their respective families, through the Federal Government’s Social Investment Programmes, as delivered through the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.
‘I am also seeks to equip children with the requisite skills and wherewithal to engage with and contribute meaningfully to the Nigerian economy.
‘However, we must all keep in mind that leadership and strategic direction remain critical to ensuring that this laudable concept can be brought to fruition.
‘Thus, the significance of each of the members of the National Steering Committee in providing the necessary leadership for the success of the programme cannot be overemphasised.
‘And, as charged by Mr President, the success of the Alternate School Programme will rely largely on inter-ministerial collaboration and effective stakeholder engagement.
‘With this reminder of all that is at stake, I urge us all to remain committed to this cause and continue to work together to ensure that the Alternate School Programme is, but most importantly, the beneficiaries are, able to enjoy very successful outcomes,’ the minister said.