By Sola Ogundipe
ON the 4th International Day of Education, Save the Children International, Nigeria, has called on the Federal government to fulfill the commitment of President Muhammadu Buhari at the Global Education Summit, GPE 2021, to increase education funding to 14 percent by 2022, 16.7 percent by 2023, 20 percent by 2024, and 22.5 percent by 2025.
Making the calll in a statement, Country Director, SCI Nigeria, Ms. Mercy Gichuhi, said: “Children constitute a great number of the world population and they are the future of the 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 behind half of humanity. The prize of non-providing the necessary skills to the leaders of tomorrow is catastrophe.”
Noting that education is at the heart of the Global Goals for Sustainable Development, she argued that it is a singular act that is needed to reduce inequalities (Goal 10), reverse cycles of intergenerational poverty (Goal 1), and improve health (Goal 3) as well as the vehicle to achieve gender equality and eliminate child marriage (Goal 5).
“It is high time the government and all stakeholders prioritise education as a public good; support it with cooperation, partnerships, and funding; and recognise that leaving no one behind starts with education.
Quoting Save the Children’s report on education (2017) in Borno State, she said: “Turning Education Around: Responding to the Crisis in Borno State” revealed that, one of the key drivers of the conflict in Borno was the pre-existing crisis in education.
“Over the years, especially in northeast Nigeria, schools cannot cater to the high demands of out-of-school children due to lack of adequate funds, technical capacity, and loss of infrastructure, materials, and teachers’ lives because of insurgency.