The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has commended Nigerians youths for taking up the challenge of tasking their governors to be committed to qualitative education for children, especially the girl child.
The body’s representative in Nigeria, Mr Peter Hawkins, made this known in Lagos, saying the affected states have an average enrollment rate of only 57 per cent.
Youths across 10 states in Nigeria, where about eight million children are out of schools, had called for increased access to safe quality education for all children, especially the girl-child.
Hawkins said the action comes as the world celebrates the Day of the African Child on June 16.
“It commemorates the day in 1976 that hundreds of students were shot in Soweto, South Africa, while demonstrating for their right to quality education,” UNICEF chief said in a statement.
The global theme for 2019 Day of the African child is “Child Rights in all Situations”, including during humanitarian crises.
Hawkins acknowledged that the youths had presented petitions to their state governors, parliamentarians, policymakers and other influential persons in a mass effort to get commitments to provide quality education for children.
According to him, the youths’ action was supported by UNICEF.
“The Nigerian campaign for access to quality education will hold the newly-elected government officials at all levels accountable for their campaign promises.
“This is to provide equitable access to free, safe and quality education for every child, especially the girl-child in Nigeria.
“The 10 states where the mass actions are taking place, Bauchi, Niger, Katsina, Kano, Sokoto, Zamfara, Kebbi, Gombe, Adamawa, Taraba and the FCT, have about eight million children not in school and, an average enrolment rate of only 57 per cent.
“The youth actions we are seeing today across several states is a wake-up call for leaders to act on their commitments to provide quality education for all children, in all situations, “ Hawkins said.