AFED Group reduces out-of-school children by 1.2m, says president

Dada said that the schools had also helped to reduce unemployment across the country as they served as employers of labour.

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The Association for Formidable Education Development (AFED) on Wednesday said that it had reduced the out-of- school children in Lagos State by 1.2 million.

AFED’s President, Mrs Ifejola Dada, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that these children were receiving quality education in over 8,000 private schools across the state.

Dada said that the state government alone could not meet the educational needs of all the children in their states.

AFED was offering a stop-gap solution that had been complimenting the government’s efforts in the provision of affordable education.

``AFED is giving back to the society what it enjoyed in the public schools in the time past and thus complementing the efforts of the state government.

``We are social justice and equity crusaders tackling the out-of-school children phenomenon,’’ Dada said.

She said it was important to tackle the education of such children as they would be critical for the future of the country.

The president said that the association had schools in nine states in the country with over 3 million children in such schools who were paying tuitions as low as N5,000 per child in some cases.

Dada said that the schools had also helped to reduce unemployment across the country as they served as employers of labour.

She said that private schools with no fewer than 50 pupils had as many as eight staff members.

The president said that some private schools had been offering scholarships to brilliant children and the indigent ones.

She, however, pleaded with governments to encourage AFED by using commendable words rather than derogatory words to describe it. 

She said that derogatory words would discourage international investors or banks that would have loved to give loans or financial assistance to the association from doing so.
Meanwhile, the patron of the association, Prof. Pat Utomi, had lauded the activities of the association.

``Education is not about blocks or buildings but what comes out of the blocks and buildings.

``I was amazed at the performance of the children in AFED schools who were in urban challenged neighborhood.’’

Utomi said that AFED was not a charitable organisation but low fee-paying schools, adding values to the teaching business.

``There is wealth at the bottom of the pyramid, when you put together all your earnings, you find out that you make money even from the poor,’’ he said.

NAN reports that AFED are schools with low paying- fees ranging from N5,000.

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