News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)

UNICEF advocates more funding for education sector


UNICEF urges FG to increase funding of education sector

By Philip Yatai

Mr Eki George, UNICEF’s communication For Development Specialist in Kaduna State, has urged the Federal Government to increase funding of the education sector to solve the nation’s technological challenges.

George  made the call at the opening of a five-day National Social and Behavioural Change Communication (SBCC) Strategy, for Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF), 2016 to 2020 domestication workshop in Kacha, Kaduna state.

According to him, any nation that fails to properly fund its education sector will not develop.

“Education remains a crucial tool for technological advancement towards national socio-economic development.

“Nigeria desires to develop technologically, but sadly the country is not making the needed investment in educating its population to be creative, inventive and innovative.

“Today, many graduates in the country are not employable, because the educational institutions have not been able to properly educate the youths with requisite skills needed to move the country forward,” he said.

George decried the seeming neglect of education at the basic, which he said was the fulcrum upon which the secondary and tertiary education relied upon to grow.

He further noted that it was unfortunate that many primary school teachers in the country are deficient in academic qualification, saying there is need for training and re-training of teachers.

“Poor service delivery at the basic level where students are poorly prepared at primary and secondary school levels for tertiary education is the root cause of challenges in our education system.

“Now we have a situation where our children struggle to pass WAEC, struggle to graduate and struggle to get employed and even when they get a job, they are ill equipped for lack of requisite skills.                                                                                                                                                        “This is because the country has not given the needed attention to education at the basic level, which was responsible for weak foundation for tertiary education.

“If Nigerian universities cannot adequately prepare their students to effectively address contemporary problems, how can they prepare them for challenges of the future?

“We need a bottom-up approach; from the basic to the tertiary institutions to be able to address the rot in our education system.

“The answer remains adequate funding so that we can give the best to our citizens,” he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the workshop was organised by the National Orientation Agency (NOA) in collaboration with United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

Earlier, UNICEF’s focal Person in Kaduna, Malam Lawal Haruna, explained that the objective of the workshop was to create a medium for relevant stakeholders on nutrition to appraise the national IYCF SBCC document.

Haruna, added that the workshop would enable the stakeholders to set achievable goals as well as design effective strategy for IYCF SBCC, based on the peculiarities in the state for domestication. (NAN)