By Sani Idris
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) says on Friday that prioritisation of children’s health and education is the key to unlocking Africa’s prosperity.
UNICEF Country Representative in Nigeria, Ms Cristian Munduate, stated this in Kaduna, at an event organised to commemorate the 2023 International Day of the African Child.
The event with the theme, “The Right of a Child in the Digital Environment” was held at Sheik Abubakar Gumi Primary School, Kaduna to commemorate the day with school children.
Munduate said that children must be supported to thrive and develop, to be able to contribute meaningfully to the development of Africa and Nigeria in particular.
According to her, this can be achieved when nations invest in children’s health and education for healthy growth and development.
She explained that the Nigerian Learning Passport (NLP), an online and offline platform was initiated to close learning poverty gap, by enabling quality and flexible learning.
She noted that a myriad of challenges had kept huge children out-of-school, noting that with access to devices under the NLP initiative, children would keep learning even while at home.
“We want to reach out to those children who unfortunately have not been to school and those whose learning abilities at their age are a bit harsh.
“The digital space has provided a good opportunity through the NLP for children to learn, grow and contribute to the development of their nation and Africa in general,” she said.
The Country Representative called on government at all levels, media and other partners and stakeholders to play their respective role in promoting the NLP.
“This is the best way to ensure uninterrupted education of children in Nigeria,” she said.
Earlier, Dr Haliru Soba, Permanent Secretary, Ministry for Education, thanked UNICEF for introducing and supporting the implementation of the NLP initiative and Teaching at the Right Level programme in Kaduna schools.
According to him, the initiatives have significantly improved the provisions of basic numeracy, literacy, and digital skills to children.
“Specifically, NLP has not only helped the children to acquire numeracy and literacy skills, but also avail them the opportunity for distance learning.”
The Head Teacher of the school, Malam Muntari Lawal, said that the NLP has made teaching and learning easier.
Lawal commended the state government and UNICEF for providing the school with tablet computers to access the NLP platform.
He added that most primary four, five and six pupils could access educational resource materials through the NLP platform using tabled computers. (NAN)