A representative of United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) Nigeria, Ms. Cristian Munduate, has called on governments to show more commitment in education to make life better for children in the country.
Munduate who said this at a programme to mark the 2022 World Children’s Day, themed, ‘Inclusion for Every Child’, held recently in Lagos, said the federal, state and local governments should ensure adequate commitment that will bring children back to school.
According to her, “governments can go the extra mile by taking the school down to the children where they do not have access to schools. This is to avoid dropouts.”
She added that UNICEF promotes the rights and well-being of every child everywhere with its partners and work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action.
“We are focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children to the benefit of all children everywhere, which is what this year’s theme is all about”, Munduate stated.
The UNICEF Nigeria representative noted that there was need for more awareness on the rights of children and education, while families, parents and guardians must be sensitised to facilitate their access and attendance to school.
She stated that an enabling environment should be created for children to participate in activities freely even in their own capacity, making them inclusive in all things in line with the 2022 World Children’s Day theme.
“This year’s World Children’s Day coincides with the start of the football World Cup, an excellent opportunity to link football and childhood, consistent with UNICEF’s core brand.
“In a world where division is entrenched in everyday lives, football has the power to unite like nothing else, when it comes to children’s rights, there can be only one team, no matter which nation we support.
“We are calling to let everyone know that all children have same opportunity in life, and if by chance a child has physical, emotional or psychological differences, he/she should still be carried along,
“Children are very talented and creative, and that is the reason we are creating this inclusive platform for them to participate and showcase their potential without discrimination”, Munduate stressed.
Lagos State Director, National Orientation Agency, Dr. Waheed Ishola commended UNICEF for the programme and urged children to be exemplary and law abiding citizens.
Mr. Cobhams Asuquo, UNICEF Nigeria Ambassador, who described UNICEF’s role in the nation as commendable said it attended to neglected areas which is key to children’s upbringing.
“I am so proud to be identified with what UNICEF is doing in Nigeria; a lot of commendable work is going on. A lot of conversations go on around football, politics and all, but, there are many areas that we don’t talk about which affect children, that UNICEF is visiting.
“UNICEF is doing a wonderful job in Nigeria, living up to its role; the issue of health/hygiene, sanitary, open defecation, educating the girl-child, child trafficking, among others.
“Everyone has an input to make in raising balanced, responsible and well-adjusted children, while their rights must be protected to safeguard the future.”
He advised the children to form good habits, care and be part of community development, disciplined, obedient and be studious.
Also, Mutiu Adepoju, La Liga Ambassador, advised the children to be focused to attain their choice career paths.