the The United Nations Children‘s Fund(UNICEF), said Nigerian school children face a learning dilemma that needs to be addressed urgently.
UNICEF Kano Field Office Chief Rahama Farah at a two-day media dialogue on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Kano State said on Friday the country must achieve results basic to fundamental level to address the learning crisis. .
Mr Farah said around 70% of school children under the age of 10 in the country cannot understand a simple sentence in English or perform basic numeracy tasks.
Represented by Elhadji Diop, head of the UNICEF field office in Kano, he said improving learning outcomes is key to achieving basic learning.
Mr. Farah noted that Nigeria needs to do more to develop the basics of literacy and numeracy.
“According to the World Bank, Nigeria experiences learning poverty in which 70% of 10-year-olds cannot understand a simple sentence or perform basic numeracy tasks.
“To meet the challenges, it is essential to achieve basic learning outcomes at the foundational level of education,” he said.
The dialogue was organized by UNICEF in collaboration with the Child Rights Information Bureau (CRIB) of the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture.
It aims to promote the development of knowledge, skills and understanding of the Nigerian child.
Importance of education
Mr. Farah said that education is the fundamental right of every child, regardless of background.
He said Nigeria is experiencing a learning crisis in which learning is not taking place even for children in school.
He said the UN agency is helping Nigeria improve basic literacy and numeracy through tailored instructional learning practices, such as Teaching at the Right Level (TaRL) and Reading and Writing activities. calculation (RANA).
He said that the right of children is well defined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) which guides the work of UNICEF in carrying out its mandate.
“In carrying out its mandate to promote, protect, advocate and work with partners for the realization of children’s rights, UNICEF has worked with the Government of Nigeria to improve results in the health sector. education.
“Progress is being made, but there is still a long way to go,” he said.
Achieve the SDGs
In his presentation, Chidi Ezinwa, a professor at the Department of Mass Communication, Enugu State University of Science and Technology, said that the SDGs cannot be achieved until children’s rights are fulfilled.
Mr. Ezinwa said that children are not objects that belong to their parents but individuals with their rights that must be protected at all costs.
He said that globally, 258 million children were out of school in 2018, indicating that the world could miss the SDG targets if no action is taken.
“Between 15 and 49 years old, 258 million children and young people were still out of school in 2018, while almost a fifth of the world’s population belongs to this age group.
“One in three children lives in extreme poverty and 10% of the world’s population still lives in extreme poverty, struggling to meet basic needs like health, education and access to water and food. ‘sanitation,’ he said.
Mr. Ezinwa said the existence of poverty means the denial of rights, which is a major factor in the denial of rights for some children.
He said poverty and gender inequality must be addressed as they are key ingredients in the denial of children’s rights.
“One of the goals says that there is no poverty, but when there is poverty, many rights are taken away from children.
“Children out of school and children who do not receive good health care are linked to poverty,” he said.
He noted that the SDGs and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) served as legal instruments to achieve universal goals and intended to leave no one behind.
In his remarks, UNICEF Communications Specialist Geoffrey Njoku said the SDGs cannot be achieved without focusing on children’s rights.
Mr. Njoku stressed the need to refocus on creating a good learning environment to ensure that school children are able to read and write.
He said the purpose of the dialogue is to raise awareness for reviving the national education sector at the grassroots level.
He explained that it is important to moderate the national curriculum at the basic education level to improve the learning skills of schoolchildren.
He said that teachers also need proper training to be able to lead children right.
Investing in teachers
During her presentation, UNICEF Education Specialist Manar Ahmed said the country needs to invest in teachers, both in time and financial resources, in order to achieve the SDGs. 2030.
Ms. Ahmed said the government must also ensure action plans to improve teaching and learning in an enabling environment.
She said 27% of teaching staff in Nigeria are not qualified to impact children.
“We need to do more in the structural approach to learning, community engagement to ensure accountability.
“The structural approach is best for teacher training, so in-service training as well as creating the right environment is important,” she said.
She reiterated that Nigeria is not lacking in the right politics, but the country’s staggering learning crisis is one of the weakest in the world.
“The fourth goal of the SDGs is to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education that promotes lifelong learning and all children by the age of 10 should be able to read and solve numeracy problems .
“It’s not that Nigeria doesn’t have the right policy, but Nigeria is facing a staggering crisis with learning outcomes being one of the lowest,” she said.
She said this is the reason why 70% of children in school are not learning basic life skills.
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