The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has urged the Nigerian government to invest in capacity building for teachers to further improve access to quality education in the country. This was made by Christian Munduate, UNICEF’s representative in Nigeria over the midweek, during a media interactive session in Bauchi. She pointed out that at least 75 percent of Nigerian children between the ages of 7 and 14 were lacking in foundational learning skills in literacy and numeracy.
She added that the teacher’s’ performances when delivering education for children must necessarily be assessed so as to distinguish between the lack of better teaching and lack of performance. According to her, the reasons why many children are not at their best when it comes to reading, writing and making simple arithmetic operations must be well addressed. The UNICEF representative disclosed that the organization was totally committed to a national assessment on capacity, so as to determine the training that teachers need to effectively deliver education to children.
Poverty cycle to continually expand without any education exposure.
She further disclosed that the UN Agency was willing to conduct similar capacity assessments on children to note their performance levels. She also noted that the organization had plans in place to make this assessment a yearly event. Munduate asserted that this assessment exercise was important in enabling authorities across the different level to recognize and laid their contributions to quality education in the country. It is immensely important for parents to understand the role of education in improving the lives and well-being of these children.
A representative in Nigeria for UNICEF explained that the more education that children are exposed to, the higher chances of them getting good jobs to fend for themselves and their families. Without any exposure to education, she said that the cycle of poverty and other related social discrepancies would continually expand. In truth, statistics recorded as of October 2022 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) indicated that about 20 million children were already out of school in Nigeria.
UNICEF vows to facilitate immunization coverage in Nigeria.
On the case of immunization, she also noted that UNICEF had been working with the government to ensure that every child is vaccinated under the zero dose or zero children with no vaccine. She however promised that the organization would continually collaborate with the government to facilitate the immunization coverage over the next 5 years. Alhaji Nasir Kwarra, the Chairman of the National Population Commission also noted that nothing was going to stop the 2023 population and housing census in the country. She further indicated that UNICEF was collaborating with the healthcare sector on enhancing the primary healthcare services across the country, as evident in Benue State.
He pointed out that every necessity measure had been put in place to ensure the success of the exercise. He however encouraged stakeholders, including civil society organization, development planners, as well as governments across all levels to support this initiative. At the Benue State Stakeholders Summit on Population and Housing Census which was organized by the Benue State Government, Alhaji Kwarra indicated that the commission would ensure an exercise driven by technology to achieve the best possible outcome.
Pres. Buhari lauded for his commitment at ensuring a successful census.
Continuing on, the planning of the 2023 census was at an important stage, as the digital mapping and census pre-tests had been conducted. He however applauded President Mohammadu Buhari on his commitment at having the country conduct a successful population census, despite the various challenges that had ravaged the country, as well as the efforts of Governor Samuel Ortom. Upon the openning the summit, Governor Ortom noted that the meeting was the perfect opportunity for making necessary information available to the traditional rulers and other stakeholders to help them better support the exercise.