From Okwe Obi, Abuja
In a bid to encourage children, especially street urchins, to seek Western education, the federal government, on Tuesday, inaugurated the Technical Working Group under the Alternate School Programme (ASP) to design a comprehensive monitoring, evaluation and impact assessment framework to enhance the scheme.
While inaugurating the team in Abuja, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq, said every child regardless of culture and religion would benefit from the scheme.
Farouq added that the scheme would equip the children with life-long skills to enable them in future to contribute to the Nigerian economy and create employment for members of their local community.
‘The primary purpose of today’s meeting is to inaugurate the TWG such that they are enabled to forge ahead towards successful implementation of this very critical programme,’ the minister stated.
‘Let us all remain mindful of the numerous benefits of the Alternate School Programme to our children, their households, their communities and of course the Nigerian economy at large.
‘Through this programme, every child, irrespective of social, cultural or economic standing, can gain access to quality education, using the Federal Government’s Social Investment Programmes, as delivered through the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, to absorb certain socio-economic shocks that they may be exposed to.
‘Beyond education provision, the programme should be seen as a means of improving the future outcomes of the children and all the way to the larger Nigerian economy.
‘It will also equip the children with life-long skills to enable them, in the future, contribute meaningfully to the Nigerian economy, provide some household income for their respective families and create employment for members of the local community, thus improving their local economy.
‘The criticality of this programme cannot be over emphasised, and it is on the back of this that I urge us all to continue with the momentum so that we can begin to record much needed success. However, critical to this success must be effective collaboration and this should remain the mainstay of our committees,’ she said.