Abia: Coalition Of NGO Move To Combat Child Dropout And Provide Specialized Education To The Handicapped

By NewsCritic Reporters

A group of Non-Governmental Organizations in Nigeria and the United States of America are collaborating to tackle the rising level of child drop out from school in Abia State in particular, and Nigeria as a whole.

The president of Alpha Dreams Foundation, California, United State of America, Hickson I. Emerueh disclosed that early child dropout from school poses a great threat to the development of the society, and cannot be removed from the list of problems which require urgent attention in the society today, saying that Abia is listed among States with high number of school dropouts.

Emerueh pointed out that early child dropout particularly the girl child is a derivative of the widespread poverty that has plagued the Nigerian society, adding that the rights of every child to basic education is universal as declared by the United Nation.

The President of Alpha Dreams Foundation, Hickson I. Emerueh, said this is the decision reached after an extensive consultative meeting with a coalition of Civil Society Organization based in Abia State.

Said he “It is therefore, disheartening to find out that Abia State is always listed amongst States in Nigeria that have a high number of children dropping out from school.  Also, of importance at this strategic consultative meeting is the issue of specialized education for Health and Physically Challenged persons to enable them acquire the capacity to earn a living for themselves and live a meaningful life”, Emerueh observed.

Other issues of importance raised at the consultative meeting, include the need for civil society organizations to step in and advocate for government policies that will recognize the special needs of handicapped children within the state educational system.

“And the urgent need to put into place facilities that cater to these special needs of challenged children as not to deny them the right to quality education.

Speaking on behalf of the Nigerian partners to the coalition, High Chief Hawkins of Rural Transformation and Development Organization, Umuahia (TRUDORG), highlighted the implications of early child dropout from school, saying that Parents and guardians withdraw their wards from school sometimes because they cannot afford the school fees.

“While others do so for some harmful traditional beliefs that do not support the formal education of the female child.  On other instances, girls are withdrawn from school and forced into early marriages, he noted.

“The outcome of this early withdrawal from school is that these children are illegally trafficked across borders and put into slave labour. 

He stressed that the coalition resolved to take proactive steps to curb this societal challenges, and called for actors in the coalition to set up need assessment units to monitor and evaluate where intervention is needed and device programmes that will help bring to an end this societal challenges, in line with the United Nations Strategic Development Goals, SDGs. He pledged the active participation towards bringing a positive change in these two focal areas.

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