Ahmad Sorondinki in Kano
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) yesterday said that Kano State has the highest number of out-of-school children in the country, which stands at 989,234 and contributed to the country’s indices as the highest worldwide.
The UNICEF Nigeria Country Representative, Ms Cristian Munduate disclosed this during a press conference in Kano.
She said stakeholders, especially the Kano state government, must demonstrate more political will to change the narratives noting that, the state stands a better chance to become a game changer in the country.
She said: “So if Kano has 989,234 children out-of-school, and we said with this methodology, we brought back 1.5 million to school in 10 years, Kano can accelerate and for instance, in some years we end the problem and attain zero out-of-school.
“We cannot continue to highlight the problems, we need to emphasize that these problems have solutions. And some of these solutions can be done in a short time.”
Munduate added: “What we need is political will and that is already shared with all the authorities whom I met in the school in the state who expressed that Education is a priority for Kano.”
“There is a need not just to preach budget for education but once the budget is approved that the funds reach the education sector, executed and implemented properly so that out of school can be magnified,” she said.
“Kano can definitely be a game changer for the entire country. Whatever good that happens in Kano is good for the country likewise whatever good that doesn’t happen in Kano has effect on the country,” Munduate added.
She, however, called on the state government to borrow a lesson from a programme it implemented in the North-west region within 10 years and which helped to return about 1.5 million children to school.
“And we have proven as UNICEF with other stakeholders by supporting the state governments in North West including Kano in sending 1.5 million children back to school. And this happened in 10 years,” Munduate stated.
She further stated that UNICEF cannot only continue to highlight the problems but, emphasize that the out-of-school children’s problems have solutions that can be achieved in a short time.