In the United Nations Children’s Fund(UNICEF), said that school children in Nigeria are facing a learning problem that needs to be addressed immediately.
Speaking at a two-day media conference on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Kano State, UNICEF Country Director for Kano, Rahama Farah, said on Friday that the country needed to achieve key results at a fundamental level to address the learning crisis. .
Mr Farah said about 70 per cent of children under the age of 10 in the country’s schools could not understand a simple sentence in English or do simple arithmetic.
By Elhaji Diop, UNICEF Field Officer in Kano, he said improving the learning outcomes was the key to achieving basic training.
Mr Farah noted that Nigeria needs to do more to promote fundamental and digital literacy.
“According to the World Bank, Nigeria is experiencing poverty, where 70 per cent of 10-year-olds are unable to understand simple sentences or perform basic computational tasks.
“To solve the problem, it is important to achieve key learning outcomes at a basic level of education,” he said.
The dialogue was organized by UNICEF in partnership with the Federal Bureau of Child Rights Information (CRIB) of the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture.
It aims to promote the development of knowledge, skills and understanding of the Nigerian child.
The importance of education
Mr Farah said education was a fundamental right of every child, regardless of their affiliation.
He said Nigeria is experiencing a learning crisis in which learning is not even happening for children in school.
He said the UN agency supports Nigeria to improve fundamental and digital literacy through customized learning practices such as Learning at the Right Level (TaRL) and Reading and Accounting Activities (RANA).
He said the rights of the child were well articulated in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCC), which guides UNICEF in its mandate.
“While fulfilling its mandate to promote, protect, promote and work with child rights partners, UNICEF is working with the Nigerian government to improve outcomes in education.
“Progress has been made, but more remains to be done,” he said.
In his presentation, Chidi Ezinwa, a professor of public relations at Enugu State University of Science and Technology, said that SDGs cannot be achieved until children’s rights are respected.
Mr Ezinwa said children were not things that belonged to their parents, but people who needed to protect their rights at all costs.
He said that worldwide, 258 million children will be out of school in 2018, which is a sign that if measures are taken, the world could lose its SDG targets.
“In 2018, 258 million children and adolescents between the ages of 15 and 49 are still out of school, while about one-fifth of the world’s population is in this age group.
“One in three children lives in extreme poverty and 10 per cent of the world’s population is still living in extreme poverty and struggling to meet basic needs such as health, education and access to water and sanitation,” he said.
Mr Ezinwa said the existence of poverty meant the denial of rights, which was a major factor in the denial of some children’s rights.
She said poverty and gender inequality should be addressed as they are an important part of the denial of children’s rights.
“One of the goals is to say that there is no poverty, but when there is poverty, some rights are taken away from children.
“Children who don’t go to school and those who don’t have good care are linked to poverty,” he said.
He noted that the SDG and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) serve as a legal instrument to achieve universal goals and intend not to exclude anyone.
In a statement, UNICEF communications specialist Jeffrey Njoku said the SDG’s goals could not be achieved without a focus on children’s rights.
Mr Njoku stressed the need to focus on creating a good learning environment to ensure that children read and write in school.
He said the aim of the dialogue was to raise awareness about the revitalization of the country’s education sector at the grassroots level.
He explained that stabilizing the country’s curriculum at the basic education level is important to improve the learning skills of school children.
He said teachers also need appropriate training to be able to promote children’s rights.
Invest in teachers
In his presentation, UNICEF Education Specialist Manar Ahmad said the country needs to invest in teachers both in terms of time and financial resources to achieve the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.
Ms Ahmad said the government should also provide action plans to improve education and training in a conducive environment.
He said 27 per cent of teaching staff in Nigeria are incapable of influencing children.
“We need to work harder on a structured approach to education, community involvement and accountability.
“A structured approach is best for teacher training, so it is important to train the workplace and create the right environment,” he said.
He reiterated that Nigeria is not deprived of the right policy, but the shocking education crisis in this country is one of the lowest in the world.
“The fourth goal of SDG is to provide a comprehensive and fair quality education that promotes lifelong learning and that all children under the age of 10 should know how to read and solve arithmetic.
“It’s not that Nigeria doesn’t have the right policy, but Nigeria is facing a shocking crisis and the results of the study are one of the lowest,” he said.
He said that is why 70 per cent of children in school do not acquire basic basic skills.
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