International day of education: European union youth sounding board :
On the occasion of this year’s International Day of Education, the European Union Youth Sounding Board in Nigeria has provided 150 pupils of the Federal Low-Cost Primary School and Government Girls Secondary School, both in Maiduguri, Borno State, with COVID-19 relief materials. The gesture aims to improve learning outcomes and renew the hope of out-of-school children, especially in conflict ravaging areas in the country. The Board has also produced an educative video documentary on challenges facing teachers and pupils in this area to further draw the attention of relevant stakeholders to the state of education in Borno.
Insecurity, coronavirus and other unprecedented issues have kept many vulnerable Nigerian children out of school. According to UNICEF, “Even though primary education is officially free and compulsory, about 10.5 million of the country’s children aged 5-14 years are not in school. Only 61 percent of 6-11 year-olds regularly attend primary school and only 35.6 percent of children aged 36-59 months receive early childhood education”.
With the theme “Changing Course, Transforming Education”, this year’s International Day of Education aims to strengthen resilience, hope and revive education that suffered a major setback due to COVID-19.
The spokesperson of the Board, Ms Rafiat Atanda, said the European Union Youth Sounding Board embarked on the exercise because it recognizes that education is essential to global recovery and in achieving all the Sustainable Development Goals. “It is important that education is prioritised and no child, regardless of where they are, should be left behind. Access to quality education can neither be politicised nor negotiated,” she said.
She said the Delegation of the European Union to Nigeria and ECOWAS is supporting the Board in the current effort. “The EU recognises that education is a fundamental human right, and is the pathway to a sustainable future. Thus, it is passionately nurturing the Nigerian child through timely interventions and strategic partnerships,” Ms Atanda stated.
Similarly, the Lead of the Human Development Committee, European Union Youth Sounding Board in Nigeria, Mr Ebuka Peter Alumna, said his Committee collaborated with the Green and Digital Economy Committee to headline event “in order to help children in the conflict area reimagine education.”
The EU Youth Sounding Board in Nigeria calls on all relevant stakeholders to ensure safe access to education, especially through digital supports and learning aids that leave no one behind- regardless of their gender, location, age or social strata.
Ms Atanda expressed gratitude to the European Union and its implementing partners, Plan International as well as Co-Development Hub, for their support. She said the Board would continue to engage strategically to recreate a world in harmony.
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