Open Fees, an educational aid foundation, is set to hold a multi-stakeholder forum targeted at finding ways to help thousands of poor students do not have access to basic education.

The one-day event, announced on Sunday via a press statement by the non-profit body, is scheduled to hold at 10 am on Thursday at the Valencia Hotel situated in Abuja.

Among those expected to be in attendance are stakeholders from government, students, parents, educationists, researchers, and members of the civil society.

According to the hosts, the forum will discuss the challenges and strategies for improving access to basic education for indigent students with emphasis on the financial and psychosocial cost of basic education in Nigeria.

“The Universal Basic Education (UBE) programme in Nigeria was launched in 1999 with the goal
of providing free, universal and compulsory basic education for every Nigerian child,” the press statement read.

“The progamme which officially took off five years later after the signing of the UBE Act has been
plagued with several challenges. Currently, one out of every five out-of-school children is a Nigerian child. The Federal Government’s free basic education programme does not cover children throughout secondary school.

“It ends at Junior Secondary School after which students have to pay their way for the next three
years. The result has been catastrophic, as millions of children who cannot afford to pay are left
behind.”

On the existing strategies already in place to better the lots of out-of-school children, Open Fees said it would share lessons learned from its projects in the last two years, and facilitate linkages and collaboration in the educational sector.

“The forum is being hosted in collaboration with Malala Fund, Give Girls a Chance, Child and Youth Protection Foundation, and other development partners.” the educational aid foundation said.

“It will allow stakeholders to address challenges, share views, highlight real-life experiences and around the financial and psychosocial cost of basic education in Nigeria.

“Panel discussions will cover law and policies on basic education in Nigeria; psychosocial cost of basic education in Nigeria; and collaborative methods to solve the problem of basic education in Nigeria.”



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