UNICEF Advocates Increase In Resources To Education

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Mrs Juliet Chiluwe, Chief of Field Office, UNICEF Enugu has advocated for increased resources to the education sector.

She stated this during the One-Day Multi Zonal Press Conference on 2024 International Day of Education held at Hotel Fidelma, Independence Layout Enugu on Wednesday with the theme: “Learning for Lasting Peace”.

According to her, “The objectives for UNICEF Nigeria resonate deeply with the heart of our mission: delivering on commitments, ending the learning crisis, ensuring safe learning environments, and advocating for increased domestic and international financing for education.

“To achieve these objectives, it is imperative that we embrace a deep commitment to strengthen learning outcomes, accelerate skills development, and ensure that education is a beacon accessible to all, particularly those on the fringes of society.”

She said, “In a bid to end the learning Crisis, let us strengthen learning outcomes and accelerate skills development, making education a reality for every child, including those with disabilities and our adolescent girls.

“We must increase resources allocated to education, advocate for debt swaps, and enhance the efficiency, effectiveness, and transparency of spending to ensure that no child is left,” Mrs Chiluwe said

According to Mrs Chiluwe, the International Day of Education serves as a poignant reminder of the transformative power of education in building peaceful societies adding that “It underscores the critical need for accessible and equitable quality education, especially during times of crisis, as we strive to uplift the hearts and minds of all individuals.

“The theme for this year, “Learning for Lasting Peace,” carries a weighty significance. It speaks to the enduring power of education as a tool for preventing, building, and sustaining peace. This theme compels us to recognize the indispensable role education plays before, during, and after conflicts, with a particular emphasis on ensuring continuity for those who are most marginalized.

“Education becomes a beacon, reducing inequities, injustices, and inequalities, while nurturing the cognitive, social, and emotional skills essential for safeguarding peace.

“We are well aware of the daunting global challenges of climate change, democratic erosion, persistent inequalities, discrimination, hate speech, violence, or conflict, in all of these, education emerges as a beacon of hope. It equips individuals with the skills and knowledge needed to navigate the complexities of our present world.

“The recommendations on education for peace and human rights, international understanding, cooperation, fundamental freedoms, global citizenship, and sustainable development serve as compassionate guide in our collective pursuit of a more peaceful world,” she said

She thereby called for a renewed commitment to transforming the educational landscape in Nigeria saying “May every child have the opportunity to learn, grow, and contribute to building a world that is not only peaceful but also prosperous.

“Together, we can make lasting strides in achieving the objectives set forth for UNICEF Nigeria and, ultimately, contribute to global efforts for sustainable development through quality education,” she said

Also speaking, the state Commissioner for Education, Professor Ndubeze Mbah described education as an engine of progress and equality.

Professor Mbah said, “Education is the cornerstone for building a tomorrow that is real, where every child has access to quality education, skills and a great future.

He then reemphasized Governor Peter Mbah’s move to prioritize education in the state through the 2024 budget.

Professor Mbah maintained that every child regardless of background deserves assess to quality education.

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