UNICEF proffers solutions to education gap in Nigeria

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Rukayat Akanbi, Bauchi

The United Nations International Children Education Fund (UNICEF) has identified solutions to educational gap in Nigeria to make every child access quality education.

While speaking at a youth mobilisation and advocacy workshop in Bauchi, UNICEF’s Chief of Field Officer, Mr. Bhanu Pathak, said despite the achievements, there were still some issues that need urgent attention. He explained that the state is giving low budgetary allocation and releases to education, inadequate number of toilet facilities, sources of safe drinking water.

He said “lots of achievements have so far been recorded under the Girls Education Projects –teachers and head teachers have been trained on lesson plans, early grade reading and leadership skills; 410 schools have received grants to implement school specific plans, also focusing on promoting girls access and learning.

“484 were girls equipped with leadership, life skills knowledge and skills for personal use and growth; over 1,000 sponsored young women and girls in rural areas graduated from Aminu Saleh College of Education Azare to mention a few, but still await to be employed.

Pathak assured that UNICEF would continue to support the Government of Bauchi State in its strive to uplift the situation of girls, women and children.

The UNICEF boss said only 32 per cent of the teachers in the rural areas are female, while there are low number of children in pre-primary schools. “Pupil – classroom ratio is not favourable for effective teaching and learning process.

“UNICEF is deeply concerned about girls’ full participation in Education. Our efforts should be targeted at ensuring increase in budgetary allocation for education with focus on basic education, making sure that all barriers that hinder girls from remaining in school are removed; ensuring children learn in a safe and conducive environment and the support to evidence-based planning and funding is secured.

“For this purpose, UNICEF will continue to support and to mobilise youth and partners to work with the Bauchi state government in its efforts to increase access to safe quality education for all boys and girls through the Girls Education Project (GEP), funded by the UKAid and implemented by UNICEF.” he said.

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