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“Nigeria’s challenge – universal primary education”
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“Nigeria’s challenge – universal primary education”

 Tayo ElegbedeNigeria has the world’s highest rate of out-of-school children of primary grade level, reports Tayo Elegbede, 24, a Commonwealth Correspondent from Nigeria, but an ambitious new campaign aims to put the country on track to meet goals for universal education.

The single most effective means of reducing poverty, especially in a developing country like Nigeria, is to invest in education. 

Whether formal or informal, education is the bedrock of any human and social development. It liberates the mind, expands thoughts, broadens horizons, connects generations and promotes intellectual exploration and expression.

According to global data recently released by UNESCO, an estimated 61 million children of primary school age are being denied their right to education. Nigeria alone is home to an estimated 10.5 million out-of-school children. This figure keeps Nigeria as the country with the highest number of out-of-school children of primary school age. 

Apparently, Nigeria’s quest to advance her socio-economic status as well as achieve the Universal Primary Education goal of the Millennium Development Goals might only be a pipe-dream if more willful and viable efforts are not invested in the educational sector, particularly that of primary education. 

Rising to this challenge, Child Advocacy on Rights and Education (CARE) Trust is flagging off a three-year campaign of ensuring that 60 percent of the out-of-school children in Nigeria have access to basic education by 2015. The non-governmental organization is taking on the task in pursuit of attaining the Universal Primary Education Goal 2 of the Millennium Development Goals in Nigeria. 

The campaign is dubbed “All Children, One Goal”, and will specifically serve as a rallying call to action for all state and non-state actors to speed up efforts toward achieving Goal 2 of the Millennium Development Goals. That requires universal primary education for all children by 2015, and most importantly offers solutions to the situation of over 10 million out-of-school children in Nigeria. 

The campaign will serve as platform to gather information on out-of-school children in Nigeria, conduct school enrollment mobilization-drives, sensitize people living in poor/marginalized communities on the importance of child education, and also mobilize support for the poor and out-of-school children. 

 “The campaign is targeted at ensuring children have access to basic and quality education. Also, the campaign will be used as an advocacy tool to seek necessary actions from governments at various levels and also work closely with government and other stakeholders to ensure that no child is left out of school,” said Olakunle Sanni, campaign director. 

Questioned about how the campaign will reach the millions of out-of-school children spread across the 36 states of Nigeria, Sanni stated that “We rely on a working campaign team or committee comprising non-governmental organizations, faith-based organizations, community-based organisations, youth groups, indigenous groups, trade unions, business organizations, media organizations, corporate bodies and social enterprises whose vision are in line with the objectives or share in the vision of the campaign. The campaign team will be responsible for implementing projects and activities of the campaign in line with the outlined goal and objectives.” 

The “All Children, One Goal” Campaign posits that no sustainable development can be attained without ensuring qualitative education for children. It will formally kick-off on Saturday 4th May 2013 with a visit to Otto/Ilogbo Community, a marginalized community in Lagos-Nigeria. 

Making a plea for support from the general public, the campaign director noted that the initiative would be more successful if individuals and organization would support either morally or materially. He therefore encouraged all stakeholder to partner with the initiative in order to achieve the Universal Primary Education Goal 2 of the Millennium Development Goals(MDGs) in Nigeria before the 2015 deadline. 

For more information about the “All Children, One Goal” Campaign and CARE TRUST, please email:- caretrustfoundation@gmail.comor visit:ww.allchildrenonegoal.wordpress.com 

Tayo Elegbede Jet- Development journalist, mediapreneur and Assistant Editor with www.yourcommonwealth.org(tayojet@gmail.com). 

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About me:

I am a young broadcast journalist, radio presenter, writer, public relations practitioner and social entrepreneur with a passion for all-round human development. My core philosophies in life include honesty and integrity, open-mindedness, responsibility and accountability.

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Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth Youth Programme. Articles are published in a spirit of dialogue, respect and understanding. If you disagree, why not submit a response.

To learn more about becoming a Commonwealth Correspondent please visit: http://www.yourcommonwealth.org/submit-articles/commonwealthcorrespondents/

photo credit: John & Mel Kots via photopin cc

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