The Nigeria Child Rights Act 2003, Article 15 and the UN Convention for the Rights of Children 1989, Article 28, entrenched to ensure the right of children to quality education, prioritize the role of children, emphasizing on the responsibility of duty bearers towards the achievement of the rights, which is essential for the developmental outcomes of the country. Also, the UN Convention on the Rights of Children, asides affirming the right of every child to education, stresses the need for every child to develop their potential, learning respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.
Dr. Judith Giwa-Amu, UNICEF, Education Officer, Abuja, at a workshop organized for the education of relevant stakeholders on how to disseminate best practices in education in emergencies regarding resilience among education functionaries in Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe (BAY), that took place in Yola, stated that the over 18 million population of Nigeria’s out of school children suffers stagnancy as a result of inadequate progress and fast growing population. Accordingly, Nigeria falls behind in Human Development Index, deriving its drop from education indicators.
Nigeria has the most Out of School Children in the world.
Across the globe, Nigeria remains the country with the most Out of School Children (OSC), with one in three children out of school. The country marks a record of 15 percent out of school children globally, giving it the total number of 18.5 million, 60 percent of whom are girls. Also, regardless of the officially free and compulsory primary education, over 10.5 million Nigerian children, aged 5-14 are absent in school, the highest in the world.
The workshop, organized by the Federal Ministry of Education, in collaboration with Adamawa State Universal Basic Education, supported by UNICEF, has participants who mentioned the relevance of education investment in addressing poverty and inequality in Nigeria, the region, and the globe. At the workshop, UNICEF included that the significance of education functionaries to take up roles as key duty bearers, be adequately equipped with knowledge and skills to enable them to deliver their duties, is mandatory due to the emergency at hand.
There should be sharing of practices to strengthen educational systems.
In addition, the workshop emphasized on the sharing of experiences and best practices which aid the strengthening of weaker educational systems, forming a roadmap to remaking those practices, and ensuring there is room for adaptation and contextualization of Education in Emergency (EIE). In a bid to reinforce government leadership and coordination of Education in Emergency (EIE), the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) and the Federal Ministry of Education reached an agreement, in 2020, to partner in systemic human and institutional capacity for the improvement of the management of education in emergencies in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe (BAY) states.
Dr Giwa-Amu disclosed that UNICEF, in its duty bearer role as Grant Manager approves the program, with appreciation of state teams who were present at the call of the Federal Ministry of Education to come, learn, discuss, and chart a course to renew state contextualized versions of the key result – demonstrable EIE Capacity-built education for the benefit of the education sector. It will aid the continuation of structured learning in times of emergency, crisis, or long-term instability.
EIE programs have yielded positive results.
The Director of Education Support Services, Federal Ministry of Education, Dr. LI Giginna, stated that following the agreement that was reached in 2020 concerning improved Education in Emergencies management in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe (BAY) States, the Federal Ministry of Education under the framework of the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), with support from UNICEF, and usage of Education in emergency programs, has been able to expose education officials to experiences and best practices in the education sector. This act has produced success towards the continuity of qualitative education in BAY States, notwithstanding challenges of insecurity and insurgency.