… Expresses Concern Over Out-of-School Children
… Says Education Is a Rght, Public Responsibility
Save the Children International (SCI) Nigeria has called on government to ensure accessible, inclusive, safe, quality and free primary and secondary education that promotes lifelong learning opportunities for all children to realize and release their full potentials.
This advice was given as the world commemorates the fifth International Day of Education.
Save the Children International is concerned about the increasing number of out-of-school children in Nigeria.
Famari Barro, Country Director, Save the Children International (SCI) Nigeria said, “From all available records, children constitute a great number of the Nigerian population, and they are the future of the society.
Any investment in this category of the population through prioritizing education will not only propel the economic development of Nigeria but also guarantee an enduring peace, stability, accelerated growth and sustainable development of the country.”
According to the UNICEF, the number of out of school children has increased from 10.5 million to 18.5 million in 2022 – that means, there are millions of good reasons to step up investment in education.
The theme of this year’s International Day of Education (IDE) is, “To invest in people, prioritize education”, that builds on the global momentum generated by the UN Transforming Education Summit in September 2022, calling for the maintenance of strong political mobilization around education and charting the way to translate commitments and global initiatives into action.
“Access to school is not only essential for children’s wellbeing and ability to thrive here and now. It is also a prerequisite for children to acquire the knowledge and skills that are central for building a life of opportunities.”
To this end, SCI reiterated the demands for the Nigerian government’s fulfilment of President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment at the GPE Global Education Summit to increase education funding to 14% by 2022, 16.7% in 2023, 20% by 2024, and 22.5% by 2025.
SIn a release signed by Kunle Olawoyin, Media and Communication Manager of SCl Nigeria, it was made known that SCI also called on governments, donors, partners, the international community and key stakeholders to stand by their commitments to prioritize investment in education and educational transformation towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
Onorakwa Godgift, 16 years from Ogoja, Cross River State, said “Most of my classmates arrive at school hungry and thirsty having to trek over a long distance every day to school.
“This means our social and emotional needs are not being met, which is detrimental to our learning and behaviours. This must change through more education funding, which will enable us to achieve our potential and become responsible people tomorrow.”
And as we reflect and commemorate the annual IDE; SCI therefore hope that leaders will be more committed to prioritizing education.”
“While we commend the Nigerian government for launching National Plan on Financing Safe Schools (2023 – 2026), we do appeal for its full implementation to guarantee the safety and security of children, teachers, school personnel and facilities.”
Rt. Hon. Ibrahim Zanna Sunoma, Deputy Speaker of the National Children Parliament, said “Almajiri is also a child, there should be a deliberate effort by parents, government and NGOs in investing in their formal education.
Education must be for all including children with disability and children on the street. If they are not left out, believe me, we can change our tomorrow for the better. All hands must be on deck to ensure all children have free and quality education at all levels.”
Education is no doubt at the heart of Global Goals. It is a singular act that is needed to reduce inequalities (Goal 10), reverse cycles of intergenerational poverty (Goal 1), and improve health (Goal 3) as well as the vehicle to achieve gender equality and eliminate child marriage (Goal 5).
SCI is Co-Leading Education in Emergencies Working Group with UNICEF, Federal Ministry of Education as the Lead.
SCI Nigeria has expanded its intervention from a single education project in 2016 to eighteen education projects covering emergency, development, and peace building nexus currently.
In 2023 SCI Nigeria is focusing on enhancing access to quality inclusive and gender responsive education for children and adolescents and those living with disabilities.
SCI has been supporting the Government of Nigeria to implement the Safe Schools Declaration (SSD) and its guidelines to protect education from attack.
In 2021, Nigeria hosted the 4th International Conference on Safe Schools in Abuja, with 400 delegates from 27 different countries attended in-person while 1,936 delegates from 124 countries participated virtually.
Education has been recognized globally as a veritable and strategic venture pivotal to the economic transformation of any nation.
SCI called for the prioritization of girl child education and investing more in it to ensure no one is left behind in the race to agenda 2030.
Also encouraged the training and retraining of teachers to be prioritized so that the children can get better life skills and knowledge required to make their future brighter. Education offers children a ladder out of poverty and a path to a promising future.
Save the Children is the leading child rights organization headquartered in the UK with offices in over 120 countries around the world. Since our founding 100+ years ago, we have changed the lives of more than one billion children. In Nigeria and around the world, we give children a healthy start in life, the opportunity to learn. We work with partners to help governments identify and scale up innovations to ensure that survive, learn, and are protected.