UNICEF Nigeria, Bauchi Field Office in collaboration with Bauchi State Basic Education Board (SUBEB), is to train 120 youths drawn from 14 states and FCT in advocacy capacity building.
The UNICEF Field Office chief, Mr Bhanu Pathak, announced this development in Bauchi at the opening session of a three-day capacity building workshop on advocacy at Zaranda Hotel, Bauchi.
Pathak, represented by UNICEF Educationist, Hajiya Mairama Dikwa, said the programme was in commemoration of the 2019 Day of the African Child (DAC), with the theme: “Humanitarian Action in Africa: Children’s Rights First”.
He said that the training was aimed at engaging the youth on continuous mobilisation and advocacy for equitable and increased access to safe quality education for all children.
Pathak said strategic engagements were being organised among youths, policymakers and highly influential persons, including traditional leaders, to discuss the need for increased access to safe quality education for children, especially girls.
The UNICEF Field Office chief frowned at Bauchi State, recording more than 1.2 million out of school children.
He noted that the ration of teachers to pupils as well as a shortage of classrooms and other facilities were not favourable for teaching and learning.
In his contribution, the Acting Chairman, Bauchi State Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Alhaji Mansur Abdu described the state as having the highest number of out of school children in the country.
Abdu asserted that “government alone cannot salvage the situation due to its lean resources hence, the need for organisations to assist”.
He lauded UNICEF for introducing various programmes towards salvaging the situation in the state.
The chairman particularly mentioned the provision of instructional materials, training and various programmes introduced by UNICEF towards high-quality education for children as commendable.
Also speaking on the occasion, the representative of USAID and Northern Education Initiative (NEI), Alhaji Mustapha Ahmed, said that the initiative had targeted two million out of school children in Bauchi State.
Ahmed, who said that the initiative would soon embark on rehabilitation of youths in the formal education sector lauded the organisers of the training programme.