By Gabriel Ewepu – Abuja
As Nigeria joins the rest of the world to mark 2021 Children’s Day, a Civil Society Organisation, Policy House International, Wednesday, called on Federal Government to address the crisis of 10.5 million out-of-school children across the country.
This was contained in a statement signed by the Country Representative, Policy House International, Taiwo Akerele, where Akerele expressed worry over the fate of children’s education, security of schools, and nutrition.
He said: “Today again creates another window for the world and its leaders to reflect on the condition of children across the globe, the fate of their education, the security of the learning environment, the key issue of nutrition and global child rights and freedom of learning and knowledge acquisition.
“How has the law been implemented and far-reaching impact on the targeted populace? Today, Nigeria is faced with the crisis of out of school children estimated at 10.5 million by the UNICEF (2019/2020) which Policy House International has projected to get to 15 million by the end of 2021 if the security challenges in parts of the north are not addressed and if the culture of school closures continues unabated.
“In Nigeria, the conditions are even worse and this day the 27th of May 2021, is an opportunity for stakeholders to reflect on key policies that have a direct bearing on learning, literacy development, and the right of the child.”
However, he reflected on the negative impact of the dreaded and deadly Coronavirus, COVID-19 pandemic, on children’s education, which also claimed the lives of some children and even now makes the future of children bleak.
“The global pandemic, COVID-19 has forced millions of children all over the world to learn from home, how conducive these homes are. These bring to the fore the need for concerted efforts to ensure that families are catered for by governments in the area of jobs creation, shelter, and adequate feeding which has a resultant effect on the condition of the child”, he said.
However, he called on government and stakeholders to use the day to review the impact of the School Feeding programme as far as nutrition is concerned, “Today, we have opportunity to review the impact of school feeding and how to have this programmed fared in terms of impact and outcome, today we have opportunity to look at the issue of nutrition and the child rights law already passed by the national assembly and some states across Nigeria.