A human rights organization, Save the Children International Nigeria, has called on the federal government to increase its funding and investment in education to 14% in 2022 to accelerate achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
SCI is a leading children’s rights organization headquartered in the UK with offices in over 120 countries around the world.
SCI National Director Mercy Gichuhi made the request in a statement released Monday evening as the world marks the fourth International Day of Education.
She called on the government to ensure “inclusive and equitable quality education that promotes lifelong learning opportunities for all in order to achieve the SDGs”.
Gichuhi said, “This requires the Nigerian government to deliver on the commitment made by President Muhammadu Buhari at the World Education Summit (2021) to increase funding for education to 14% by 2022, 16 .7% in 2023, 20% by 2024 and 22.5% percent by 2025.
“Education is undoubtedly at the heart of the global Sustainable Development Goals.
“It is a singular act that is needed to reduce inequality (Goal 10), reverse cycles of intergenerational poverty (Goal 1) and improve health (Goal 3) as well as the vehicle to achieve gender equality and end child marriage (Goal 5). It is high time that the government and all stakeholders prioritize education as a public good; support it through cooperation, partnerships and funding; and recognize that leaving no one behind starts with education.
According to her, the SCI Education Report (2017) in Borno State titled: “Transforming Education: Responding to the Crisis in Borno State”, revealed that one of the key drivers of conflict in Borno was the pre-existing education crisis.
Gichuhi said, “Over the years, especially in North East Nigeria, schools cannot meet the high demands of out-of-school children due to lack of adequate funds, technical capacity and loss of resources. infrastructure, materials and life of teachers because of the insurrection.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated a pre-existing education crisis, while reliance on digital technology for learning has deepened gender exclusion and inequalities. There are more children out of school in northeast Nigeria than before the insurgency.
“In some other parts of Nigeria, schools lack the technical capacity to support physically disabled, marginalized or minority children. Funding remains a challenge for the education system at all levels.
“Children constitute a large part of the world’s population and they are the future of society. The worst option is to see a generation of children and young people who lack the skills they need to compete in the 21st century economy or leave half of humanity behind. The price of not providing the skills needed for tomorrow’s leaders is a disaster.
SCI therefore recommended the integration of technology into inclusive education, prioritizing girls to ensure that no one is left behind in the race for the 2030 agenda.
“We demand that teachers be recognized and benefit from professional support so that they can innovate in learning,” the statement added.
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