Michael Olugbode in Maiduguri
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has commenced the distribution of radio sets to all internally displaced and other vulnerable children in Borno State.
This, according to the UN agency, would enable children from all backgrounds to benefit from radio lessons being aired across the state to mitigate the closure of schools due to the spread of COVID-19 pandemic disease.
Speaking during the distribution of the radio sets yesterday in Maiduguri, the UNICEF Education Manager in Borno State, Dr. Nasser Kaddoura, stated that the initiative would be targeted at 1,500 children in its initial stage to ensure that no child is left behind.
Kaddoura said: “For conflict- affected children, the COVID-19 pandemic is a crisis within a crisis. There is already a burgeoning number of out-of-school children in the Northeast region. The NICEF is actively supporting radio lessons in the state, but more children need to benefit from this arrangement. With support from ‘Education Cannot Wait,’ we are providing radio sets to internally displaced and other vulnerable children who cannot ordinarily afford a radio set.
“There is a high number of unaccompanied children, orphans and other minors who live in female-headed households in Borno. This initiative targets children in this category. Millions of children in Northeast Nigeria are out-of-school.
”This is counterproductive because education is a right of all children, no matter where they live.”
Also speaking on the distribution of radio sets, the Chairman of the Borno State Universal Basic Education Board Committee on COVID-19 Education Response, (SUBEB), Mr. Ali Bukar-Dogo, commended the UNICEF for the initiative and added that SUBEB would monitor and sensitise the public on the distribution of the radio sets and radio.
Bukar-Dogo said: “The SUBEB is determined to see that its distribution to the most vulnerable in the community as per target is achieved. We have engaged the School-based Management Committees in the state to select the most vulnerable households or communities. The radios will support the most vulnerable children and communities to catch up with learning programme even within the COVID-19 pandemic.’’