The Ondo State Government says it has recorded 240,000 out-of-school children in the state.
Chief Victor Olabimtan, the Chairman of the State Universal Basic Education Board (ODSUBEB), made the disclosure at a news conference in Akure on Tuesday.
Olabimtan, who described the out-of-school children as a national problem, called for collaborative efforts by the stakeholders in tackling the menace.
“The truth is that, it has become a serious socio-economic issue because it has become a breeding ground for social and political miscreants.
“Empirical statistics have repudiated the initial beliefs that out-of -school is only prevalent in the northern part of the country.
“Studies have shown it is a growing menace in this part of the world without leaving out our state.
“This menace is growing everyday and need the efforts of all stakeholders, especially the press, through reportage and continuous advocacy harping on the advantages of a literate society,” Olabimtan stated.
He said the board has begun the process of awarding the 2023 Action-Plans value at N2.95 billion for the construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation of schools across the state.
According to him, the action-plans also covers fencing of schools, construction of boreholes, supplies of pupils furniture, teachers’ chairs and tables, and sporting equipment.
He also said that the board had provided over 900 schools with the digital devices for attendance management of pupils in classrooms.
Olabimtan, however, identified vandalisation of schools and damaging of government property as one of the major challenges confronting the board.
“One of the most serious challenges we are battling with in our schools is the unpatriotic activities of vandals who are of the habit of destroying and vandalising school properties especially doors, windows and ceilings put in place with tax players funds.
“Another major challenge facing our schools is the issue of land encroachment by some communities and land speculators.
“With the support of relevant agencies of government we are tackling them through peaceful and official engagements, and we appeal to our people to always protect government properties,” he said.
He reiterated the commitment of the board at improving infrastructure and making teaching and learning more attractive.