By Adebola Adegoke
Lagos, Nov. 7, 2020 (NAN) A Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Lola Cater for the Needy Foundation has called for more intervention and advocacy to reduce out-of-school children and improve the literacy rate in underserved communities.
Lolade Ogunnubi, the Chief Executive Officer of the NGO, spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) during the Foundation’s Community School Outreach in Makoko, a Lagos suburb, on Saturday.
Ogunnubi said that the outreach which was aimed at orientating children on the importance of education was in line with the Sustainable Development Goal 4 which ensures inclusive and equitable quality education.
She said children in slum communities lacked access to quality education and called for collective efforts from public and private organisations to the rate of out-of-school children in Nigeria.
“Many children in underserved communities lack the proper form of education because they cannot afford it, while some do not see the importance of education.
“We need to have more intervention and advocacy programmes in these communities from government, private and non-profit organisations as well as individuals.
“If we build more schools and employ more teachers around these communities with availability of learning materials, it will encourage them to go to school. With this, we should be able reduce out-of-school children and increase literacy rate in Nigeria.
“As part of our advocacy, we plan to leave no one behind as we intend to increase the literacy rate in these communities as much as we can.
“So, today, we had interactive sessions and orientation with the people of Makoko community on the importance of quality education and the need to have goals and ambitions.
“We also gave writing materials, motivational books, school bags and shoes to 250 children from ages two to 14 years,’’ she said.
Ogunnubi said that their immediate environment was another factor hindering their access to quality education, as it was not healthy and conducive for learning.
She advised parents not to let the environment dictate the future of their children, saying that they had more to offer outside the slum.
“In Makoko community, the best they have is just primary education and they are being taught in make-shift classrooms made of bamboos and wood because that’s the best the community could afford.
“Some have even lost interest in education because there’s no means of furthering their education and they feel left out.
”So we advise not to let their environment shatter their dreams and hopes of having a great life outside the slum,” she said.
Ogunnubi said the Foundation hoped to reach out to 1,000 children in 10 states which include Adamawa, Benue, Calabar, Edo, Gombe, Kaduna, Kwara, Nasarawa, Ogun and Oyo.