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2023 election: UNICEF tasks presidential candidates on investment in education

By Murtala Adewale, Kano
24 January 2023   |   1:02 pm
Ahead of next month's presidential election, the United Nations International Children's Fund (UNICEF) has challenged candidates of the political parties to prioritize education if voted into power. The United Nations agency reminded President Muhammad Buhari of his commitment to end the global learning crisis in Nigeria. An educationist and UNICEF Nigeria representative Ms Cristian Munduate,…

Ahead of next month’s presidential election, the United Nations International Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has challenged candidates of the political parties to prioritize education if voted into power.

The United Nations agency reminded President Muhammad Buhari of his commitment to end the global learning crisis in Nigeria.

An educationist and UNICEF Nigeria representative Ms Cristian Munduate, made the call on Tuesday in a message to commemorate the International Day of Education.

Raised concern on challenges crippling education in Nigeria, UNICEF declared that about 75 per cent of children between aged 7 and 14 years still find it difficult to read a simple sentence or solve a basic math problem.

Ms Munduate posited that 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 said UNICEF join the global call to “invest in people, prioritize education”, and urge Nigeria to deliver on the commitments made by His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari at the UN Secretary General’s Transforming Education Summit in September 2022 to end the global learning crisis.

UNICEF expressed commitment to support the Nigerian government to reduce the number of out-of-school children, improve learning outcomes and domestic spending on education in the country.

According to her, UNICEF’s support the government of Nigeria’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 remain in school, complete their education and achieve to their full potential.

“UNICEF, together with partners, will 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 and 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.”