Raphael Ede, Enugu
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), on Tuesday, said it was currently supporting 25 states in Nigeria plan for their education sectors to tackle the critical education challenges that states are faced with.
UNICEF said it was further encouraged to intervene in education planning because of the urgency made by the emergencies of the Sustainable Development Goals, SDG.
UNICEF’s Chief, Education, Terry Durnnian, made the disclosure during a high-level meeting of cluster two states on education sector planning holding in Enugu.
Durnnian stated that Nigeria must address the SDG challenges to reach its target and ensure the challenges of out-of-school children, children not learning anything at schools and lack of child friendly learning spaces in schools is adequately tackled.
Represented by UNICEF’s Education Specialist, Dr. Rosemary Nwangwu, Durnnian said, “Where the state has a plan, it is easy to report achievement and win more support.
“Without a plan it is impossible to do so. An education sector plan would help a government to reporting easily on its accomplishments to the public and be exact about what government has done.”
Durnnian said that one of the expected results of the meeting is to strengthen collaboration and partnerships and work with states to achieve more results for children in education.
“UNICEF plans to support these states to develop education sector plans that would sustain this vision and together with the states, plan the resource needed for education and how these resources should be raised” said Durnnian.
Declaring the meeting open, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State said the state was enthusiastic and its interest stimulated by the evidence-based planning that Unicef hampered on.
Represented by his Chief of Staff, Dr. Festus Uzor, Governor Ugwuanyi said, “When you plan, you must plan with the right statistics and demography, we need to know the children of various ages. The data must be relevant and accurate for us to make service delivery.”
Noting that education is a right and not a privilege, Governor Ugwuanyi said the state regarded education highly and has done a lot in the sector such as on recruitment of teachers and appendage personnel, provision of education support facilities and infrastructure.