Precious Oham, Hope James

The United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF, representative in Nigeria, Cristian Munduate, has called on the Federal Government to prioritise education as a step to ending global learning crisis.

In a statement, in Abuja, to commemorate the International Day of Education, Munduate decried the prevalent rise in the number of children who cannot read a simple sentence or solve a basic math problem.

Munduate also called on the presidential candidates of the forthcoming general elections to include investments in education as top priority in their manifestos.

The statement reads: “I join the global call to invest in people, prioritize education and urge Nigeria to deliver on the commitments made by His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari at the UN Secretary General’s ‘Transforming Education Summit’ in September 2022 to end the global learning crisis.

“In Nigeria, 75 per cent of children aged 7 to 14 years cannot read a simple sentence or solve a basic math problem. For children to be able to read to learn, they must be able to learn to read in the first three years of schooling.

“I commit UNICEF’s support to the government of Nigeria’s commitment to transform education and to prevent the loss of hard-fought gains in getting children into school, particularly poor, rural children and girls and ensuring that they remain in school, complete their education and achieve their full potentials.

“UNICEF, together with partners, will continue to support federal and state governments to reduce the number of out-of-school children by providing safe, secure and violence free learning environments both in formal and non-formal settings, engaging communities on the importance of education and providing cash transfers to households and to schools.

“As Nigeria’s presidential elections draw near, on behalf of UNICEF and the children in Nigeria, I call on all presidential candidates to include investments in education as a top priority in their manifestos.”