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Education, a basic right for all children

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By Timothy Akintola

UNICEF says education remains a basic right for all Nigerian children.

The United Nation International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) have been so critical about the need to ensure that children enjoy quality Education. As seen as a basic right, it is again being stressed, as incorporated in the Nigeria Child Act 2003, Act 15, as well as the United Nations Convention for the rights of children 1989, Article 28. These act gives children the right to Education, and very important thing directly prompting us to our roles as duty bearers, responsible for actualizing this right that is critical for the developmental outcome of every children in the society.

Unfortunately, Nigeria continues to significantly fall short, compared to other countries of similar developmental status. Recently, the Education sector has witnessed continued complications due to attacks and the ongoing nationwide ASUU strike. Dr. Judith Giwa-Amu, one of UNICEF’s educational officers revisited the recurring issue surrounding children Education at a workshop, which took place in Yola, with the purpose of educating stakeholders on measures to dissipate the best practices of Education in emergencies, in regards to resilience among Education functionaries in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe (BAY).

Nigeria’s OSC cases of inadequate progress and rapid population growth.

According to UNICEF’s report, Nigeria has witnessed the most population of out-of-school (OSC) cases, with over 18 million children. This situation continues to linger as a result of the progressive inadequacies and rapid population growth. Nigeria also continues to fall behind in the Human Development Index, with Education indicators impending progress. Dr. Judith Giwa-Amu stated that numerous countries like Indonesia have recorded immense growth in their Human Development Index because they continue to make huge investments, as well as taking advantage of the dividends in the demographics.

Nigeria continues to record the most OSC compared to every other countries globally. UNICEF further records that 1 in every 3 children are out-of-school victims (which make up for the 18 million OSC), as well as 1 of every 2 in west and central Africa are from Nigeria. This illustrates how deeply this issue has ravaged the country’s educational sector and on the wider spectrum, Nigeria’s Human Development Index. This workshop which was organized by the Federal Ministry of Education, in collaboration with Adamawa State University Basic Education is said to have made participants take cognizance of the significant educational Investment as a means to fight Poverty and inequality in Nigeria, and globally.

Sharing experiences, very crucial in stimulating weaker education systems.

UNICEF, on ensuring a reform in the Education status quo, also noted the need for Education functionaries as important role bearers to be well equipped with knowledge designed to help them perform their duties, especially in these times of emergencies. It also hammered on the fact that sharing of experiences and best practices plays an important role of stimulating weaker educational systems, as well as serving as a roadmap for replicating these practices, whilst making creating a sacrosanct space for adaptation and contextualization of Education in Emergency (EIE).

Towards ensuring an improved governmental leadership and integration of Education in Emergency (EIE) under the design of The Global Partnership for Education (GPE) and The Federal Ministry of Education, there was an agreement aimed at partnering in systemic human and institutional capacity for improved Education in emergency management in the Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states respectively. Dr Judith Giwa-Amu however gave UNICEF’s full approval of the program, as well as appreciating the efforts of the state team towards the replication of the state contextualized version of this outcome.

Education functionaries have been exposed to sector’s best practices.

Dr. Li Giginna, Director of Education Support Service, Ministry of Education also asserted that due to the 2020 agreement which was aimed at partnering in systemic and institutional capacity development for an improved Education in Emergency (EIE) management in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe (BAY) states, GPE using Education in Emergency programs, with the support of UNICEF, have Been able to successfully expose Education functionaries immense experiences and best practices of the Education sector which have ensured an improved qualitative level of Education in the North Eastern states, even in spite of the Security challenges that have ravaged the region.

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