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UNICEF, partners mobilise funds to educate vulnerable children

by Haruna Gimba
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By Asmau Ahmad

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) says it is mobilising resources to improve access to quality education for poor and vulnerable children in Kaduna State.

UNICEF Country Representative in Nigeria, Ms. Cristian Munduate, made this known during the annual UNICEF-Access Bank Charity Shield Polo Tournament, held at Fifth Chukker Country Polo Club in Kaduna.

Munduate, who was represented by UNICEF Chief of Operations, Mr. Opiyo Nixon, noted that education is very important to the development of a child.

She said that the resources were being mobilised in partnership with the Access Bank Group and Fifth Chukker Polo Country Club, Kaduna, through the annual Polo Tournament.

She explained that the 2023 tournament was part of a continued partnership to increase access to quality education by orphans and vulnerable children in the state.

This, she said, would give the children an opportunity for a better quality of life in the future.

Ms. Munduate explained that the efforts are in line with SDG 4, which seeks to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.

“At this time, we are joining hands with other partners – Fifth Chukker, Access Bank Group, and other participants to raise resources that will go into advancing access to education.

“The funds will be invested in improving the quality of teaching but more importantly, in ensuring that each child has the opportunity to access education to advance in life.

“The funds when released will be plunged back into already established schools to fill existing gaps,” she added.

Meanwhile, Munduate identified some of the gaps in accessing quality education, noting that there was a need to increase the number of teachers to meet the 40 pupil-teacher ratio per class, as well as to improve libraries and computer laboratories.

The Country Representative said the school management is looking into expanding additional classrooms following the high number of demands for enrolment into the schools.

She commended the partners for their remarkable efforts and commitments towards improving the learning environment through renovations, equipping and provision of infrastructure, and upgrading of primary schools.

In spite of the recorded achievements, the UNICEF boss said there is a need for continued provision of opportunities and amenities to encourage the learning and mental development of children.

“This will leave no child behind in the journey towards meeting SDG 4,” she added.

Munduate called on partners to pool resources together and ensure that every child within the community has access to educational facilities that provide quality education.

The partnership, which began in 2006, is in line with UNICEF’s mandate of advocating for the protection of children’s rights, to help meet their basic needs and expand their opportunities to reach their full potential.

The partnership, which targets children and families in great need, has been providing support to accelerate access to quality education for disadvantaged children, especially orphans and vulnerable children.

Under the partnership, two schools – LEA Maraban Jos, in Igabi LGA and LEA Kakau, in Chikun LGA, were adopted and rebuilt – to sustain the provision of quality education to OVC.

The schools’ infrastructure was upgraded, alongside the provision of toilets, water, sanitation and hygiene facilities.

These were implemented in collaboration with the Kaduna State Ministry of Education, Kaduna State Universal Basic Education Board and Kaduna State Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency.

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