By Aliyu Dangida
The United Nations Children Fund, UNICEF, has described media as the major key player in the drive to enhance school enrollment across the North East Continents.
UNICEF said the record of out of school children in the region was still alarming, hence the reason media remains a key partner to drive discourse to get them off the streets.
The Chief of Field, UNICEF Bauchi field office, Tushar Rane, spoke Wednesday, at a media dialogue on out of school children in Bauchi State, with participants from Bauchi, Gombe and Taraba states.
He said, “despite the importance of education, at least, over 10 million school-aged children in Nigeria are out of school. This is a major challenge to all of us.
“UNICEF is committed to improving the lives of children and women in Nigeria, especially in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); and the Education for All (EFA) goals of educating all children at all levels and in all groups.
“Our work with the government is further enhanced through collaboration with traditional leaders, Civil Society Organizations, faith-based organizations, communities, and other development partners to find solutions that will result in getting the out-of-school children back to school.
“The media are drivers of social discourse, and we encourage you to always amplify the voices of out-of-school-children and advocate for change to ensure no child is left behind.”
UNICEF education specialist, Abdurrahman Ibrahim Ado, who also spoke, said Nigeria is unlikely to achieve Sustainable Development Goal, SDG, 4 by the target year of 2030.
The SDG 4 according to United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, UNESCO, aims to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.
He listed some of the challenges to achieving this target to include, “economic recession, funding, insecurity, lack of equity and sustainability” among others.
According to him, “achieving SDG 4 is not a one man affair, but needs a multi-sectoral approach which all states must key into if the target of 2030 must be met.”