Out of School Children: UNICEF Signs Commitment with Sultan, Emirs to Improve Schools Enrollment

By Alex Uangbaoje, Kaduna

As part of measures to curtail the growing number of out of school children in Nigeria, especially in the Northern part of the country, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), has signed a commitment to actions with traditional leaders in the region.

The signing took place in Kaduna on Thursday, led by Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Abubakar Sa’ad, during a two-day conference on out of school children, jointly organised by Federal Ministry of Education, Universal Basic Education Commission, National Commission for Mass Education and Sultan Foundation for Peace and Development in collaboration with UNICEF.

The agreement is aimed at committing the royal fathers to reach out and bring to school all children within their areas of administration.

Identify and address key socio-cultural barriers affecting children’s (especially girls) school enrolment, retention and completion within their areas of administration with clear monitoring mechanisms to ensure children enroll and remain in school funding for improved delivery of quality basic education within our areas of administration.

They are also to establish and support the implementation of structured enrolment drive campaigns, advocate and work with relevant government agencies and community structures to increase funding for improved delivery of quality basic education within our areas of administration.

According to UNICEF, “Socio-cultural barriers identified and addressed; enrolment monitoring teams established at emirates, districts and village heads level and monitoring children on the streets. Improved school condition through availability of new/renovated classrooms, furniture, WASH facilities and school supplies.”

The commitment actions follows the need to address the millions of out-of-school children in Northern Nigeria that could militate against the development of the region in the future.

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