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Nigeria faces learning crisis-UNICEF

The United Nations Children’s Fund UNICEF says Nigeria is presently facing Nigeria is experiencing learning poverty in which 70 percent of 10-year-olds cannot understand a simple sentence or perform basic numeracy task.

UNICEF Chief of Field office Kano, Mr Rahama Farah, made this known in Kano during a Two-day media dialogue organised for Journalists by UNICEF on SDGs as Child Rights.

Mr. Farah, represented by the Officer-in-Charge Elhadji Issakha Diop said as the case with some countries globally, and in sub-Saharan Africa, Nigeria faces a learning crisis in which learning is not taking place, even for children that are in school

Elhadji Issakha Diop, Officer-in-Charge (OIC), UNICEF Field Office Kano

To address the challenge, He stressed that achieving basic learning outcomes at the foundational level of education is key.

’ According to the World Bank, Nigeria is experiencing learning poverty in which 70 percent of 10-year-olds cannot understand a simple sentence or perform basic numeracy task.

It is clear that to improve learning outcomes in Nigeria, achieving basic foundational skills at that level of learning cannot be overemphasized.’’ Farah said

Mr Farah explained that UNICEF is already supporting the Government of Nigeria to improve Foundational Literacy and Numeracy through tailor-made, teaching-learning practices, such as Teaching at the Right Level (TaRL) and Reading and Numeracy Activities (RANA)     but a lot still needs to be done to scale-up Foundational Literacy and Numeracy in Nigeria, and the support of every ally and stakeholder is needed – especially that of a powerful institution and ally like the media.

He urged the media to deploy its powerful mass-mediated channels of communication to raise awareness of the learning crisis in Nigeria; advocate increased funding to the education sector, especially the allocation of adequate resources to pre-primary and primary levels of education in Nigeria; and invest in improving teacher quality.

He also called on the media to mobilize all stakeholders – parents, teachers, communities, government, CSOs, donors, everyone – to join in the worthy cause of addressing the challenge of learning poverty in Nigeria.

Editing by Daniel Adejo.