United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF, has decried the increasing number of Children out of school as statistics revealed that over 10.5 million children are out of schools in Nigeria.
The statistics revealed that 90% of the total number are girls.
A communique issued at the end of a one day 2017 National Enrolment Drive Planning with heads of media Agencies sensitization meeting organized by Federal Ministry of Education, Universal Basic Education Commission in collaboration with UNICEF, Nigeria held at Bafra Hotel, Kaduna observed that prevalent challenge is mostly in the Northern part of the country.
According to the communiqué, the situation is very unfortunate, hence the need for relevant stakeholders to work together by taking proactive measures that could end the trend particularly in northern part of the country.
The communique stated that, the Global initiative on OOSC Nigeria Country study 2012 had indicated that over 9 million children are in Qur’anic education out of which girls are the highest percentage in Northern part of the country, stressing that by the year 2020, Nigeria, Afghanistan and Pakistan are not likely to meet the target of education for all their children.
It suggested that, the need for collaborative efforts between federal government, legislature at federal and states and 10 selected States of the federation mainly northern states for the effective drive to ensure every Nigerian child gets access to education by the year 2020.
On Birth Registration, the UNICEF analysed that, more than 70 percent of Nigerian Children are not been registered from 2016 to date, stressing that, the benefit of birth registration is to enable person’s eligibility for health care, admission into school more easily.
The UNICEF then called on media to always sensitise community members on benefit of Birth Registration for their children and link with school enrollment in the country.
It stressed that the overall aim of the workshop is to build collective responsibility for reaching out to school children in the country while the objectives of the campaign is to share the national enrolment drive framework with the media including the 2017 enrolment campaign, messages and plan, agree on possible partnerships, support roles and responsibilities of the media and develop, endorse plans and messages respectively.
Meanwhile, the communique revealed that, one of the expected output or results of the workshop includes, Shared understanding of the National Enrolment Framework and expected role of the media, Agreed modalities for collaboration s with the media in the joint 2017 Enrolment/Birth registration Campaign Activities, Endorsed plan, messages timeline for agreed activities as well as Agreed roles of all stakeholders in the campaign- media.
The UNICEF in the communiqué then commended the federal government and northern states government for their unflinching support given to its programs in the country, stressing that it will continue working hand in hand with every stakeholders in Nigeria to attain the desired objectives.