By; TINA PHINEAS,CYola
On this year’s Day of the African Child (DAC), the Adamawa State Universal Basic Education Board (ADSUBEB) in collaboration with the United Nations Children’s Funds (UNICEF) has mobilized youths to embark on a continuous mobilisation and advocacy for equitable and increased access to safe, quality education for all children, most especially girls.
This gathering gives us cause for hope in an era in which we continue to allow injustice and inequality to plague our communities and keep younger generations, especially Nigeria’s girls, from making their way out of poverty to build the country they want to see, fit for the generations they will nurture.
The annual Day of the African Child was initiated to honour the memory of the hundreds who gave their lives and the tens of thousands who gave tireless voice to demand their right to quality education in the darkest days of apartheid South Africa in 1976.
The DAC serves to commemorate these children and the brave action they took in defence of their rights. The DAC thus celebrates the children of Africa and calls for a serious introspection and commitment towards addressing the numerous challenges facing children across the continent.
The Day should not be celebrated by State Parties and other stakeholders as an event but rather as a process that draws on previous celebrations to create synergies that improve the realisation of the rights of children under national and international law.
The poor state of girl child education and inadequate quality education for all children are scars on Africa’s future. These two rob girls of their right to an education, thus denying them a chance to lift themselves and the next generation out of poverty and realise their full potential in life
UNICEF Education Consultant for Adamawa state Joel Isaiah Jutum said in the state, over 489,855 children are out of school, while Nigeria has 10.5 million children who are unable to access safe and quality education due to the ongoing crisis in the North-east.
According to him, there will be mass action in 10 states which have about 8 million out of school children and an average enrolment rate of only 57 per cent.
These states include Bauchi, Niger, Katsina, Kano, Sokoto, others are Zamfara, Kebbi, Gombe, Adamawa, Taraba and the Federal Capital Territory (Abuja).
Jutum said 110 youth from youth selected from 21 Local Government were trained to embark on a continuous mobilisation and advocacy for equitable and increased access to safe, quality education for all children.
He stated further that, strategic engagements are being organized between the youths, policy makers and highly influential persons, including traditional leaders, to get their attention on the need for increased access to safe quality education for all children, especially girls.
The youth advocacy team paid a visit to the Adamawa State Government and made some demands which include the payment of counter funds funding for the SUBEB, increased budgetary allocation to education, the establishment of more core girls schools and lastly the provision of consumable materials in public schools.
Responding to the demands, Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri said education is his government topmost priority.
Fintiri who was represented by the Chief of Staff Prof. Maxwell Gidado, promise to work out for the counter fund funding for Universal Basic Education which was not accessed.