2023: Prioritise Education, UNICEF Tasks Presidential Aspirants

UNICEF Nigeria Representative, Ms. Cristian Munduate.

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has called on candidates vying for office of the president of Nigeria to include investments in education as a top priority in their manifestos.

UNICEF Nigeria Representative, Ms. Cristian Munduate made the call in a statement issued on Tuesday, January 24, 2023.

Munduate, in line with the theme of this year’s International Day of Education, “invest in people, prioritize education”, urged Nigeria to deliver on the commitments made by President Muhammadu Buhari at the UN Secretary General’s Transforming Education Summit in September 2022 to end the global learning crisis.

She informed that, 75 per cent of children aged 7 to 14 years in Nigeria could not read a simple sentence or solve a basic math problem. Also, for children to be able to read to learn, they must be able to learn to read in the first three years of schooling.

She therefore, assured of UNICEF’s support to the Nigerian government’s commitment to transform education and to prevent the loss of hard-fought gains in getting children into school, particularly poor, rural children and girls and ensuring that they remained in school, complete their education and achieve their full potentials.

She added that, UNICEF, together with partners, would continue to support federal and state governments to:

“Reduce the number of out-of-school children by providing safe, secure and violence free learning environments both in formal and non-formal settings, engaging communities on the importance of education and providing cash transfers to households and to schools.

“Improve learning outcomes by expanding access to quality early childhood education, scaling foundational literacy and numeracy programmes, and offering digital skills, life and employability skills to adolescents to enable the school to work transition.

“Increase domestic spending on education to meet the 20% global benchmark by 2030 and to address the infrastructure and teaching backlog that are affecting all children’s access to inclusive and quality education”.

Speaking further, Munduate said, “as Nigeria’s presidential elections draw near, on behalf of UNICEF and the children in Nigeria, I call on all presidential candidates to include investments in education as a top priority in their manifestos.

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