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Save the Children urges increased funding for education

By Bertram Nwannekanma (Lagos), Sodiq Omolaoye (Abuja) and Abdulganiyu Alabi (Kaduna)
25 January 2022   |   2:41 am
A child rights group, Save the Children Nigeria, has called on the government to ensure inclusive, equitable and quality education that promotes lifelong learning opportunities

CHRICED asks states to domesticate Child Rights Act

A child rights group, Save the Children Nigeria, has called on government to ensure inclusive, equitable and quality education that promotes lifelong learning opportunities for all, with a view to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

The group made the call as the world commemorated the year 2022 International Day of Education, yesterday.

In a statement, it urged President Muhammadu Buhari to fulfill the commitment he made at the Global Education Summit (GPE) in 2021 to increase education funding to 14 per cent by 2022, 16.7 per cent in 2023, 20 per cent by 2024, and 22.5 per cent by 2025.

The group noted it is high time the government and all stakeholders prioritised education, support it with cooperation, partnerships, and funding, and recognise that leaving no one behind starts with education.

Country Director of the group, Ms. Mercy Gichuhi, said: “Children constitute a great number of the world’s population and are the future of the society. The worst option is to see a generation of children and young people who lack the skills they need to compete in the 21st-century economy or leave behind half of humanity. The price of not providing necessary skills to the leaders of tomorrow is a catastrophe.”
THIS came as Resource Centre for Human Rights and Civic Education (CHRICED) urged states yet to domesticate the Child’s Right Act to do so in the interest of the Nigerian child.

The organisation was reacting to the killing of Hanifa Abubakar, a five-year-old pupil, in Kano State.

CHRICED’s Executive Director, Dr. Ibrahim Zikirullahi, in a statement, yesterday, advised state governments to use the tragic occasion to reflect on the country’s appalling state of child rights.

He noted that only 24 of Nigeria’s 36 states have adopted the Child’s Right Act (2003), which he said is the law that guarantees the rights of all children in the country.

While making reference to a report by the National Human Rights Commission, Zikirullahi said
12 states have failed to adopt the Act, including Kano, where Hanifa was murdered.

The rights group said: “Even in states that have adopted the Act, implementation has been non-existent, resulting in numerous violations of children’s rights. Therefore, CHRICED advocates for a whole-of-government, whole-of-society approach to identifying and preventing threats to children’s rights.

“At a time when the COVID-19 pandemic is still wreaking havoc on economies and disrupting people’s lives, this approach becomes even more compelling. Gender-based violence and attacks on vulnerable groups such as women and children have increased during the pandemic period.

“As a result, it is critical that duty bearers at all levels of government, including the federal, state, and local governments, take the necessary steps to save lives.”

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