The United Nations Children Education Fund (UNICEF) has partnered with The Federal Ministry of Information to organize a two day media dialogue for bloggers and online influencers in Kano.
The workshop held at Tahir Guest palace hotel GRA Kano is aimed at promoting access to education for disadvantaged children in Nigeria.
The Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed who was represented by Olumide Osanyinpeju, Deputy Director and Head of Child Rights Information Bureau said the workshop was important and necessary because the future of Nigeria depends on the children who will take their place in tomorrows society.
He said all children have the right to a better life and the opportunity to succeed.
“Unfortunately, a large number of Nigerian children are at risk of deprivations of basic social amenities. They are situated in the rural and hard-to-reach communities. Majority of them are also living in conflict, and communities under emergencies, and it has been difficult taking basic amenities to them. “It is worthy to note that efforts have been made by government at bridging the gap between the advantaged and disadvantaged in the country”.
He also said all hands are on deck to provide adequate infrastructure and facilities for the disadvantaged children and to communities that are not easily accesible.
“There is the need to integrate children, especially those in difficult terrain and other excluded children and focus on equitable distribution of opportunities now,” he said.
“Let me emphasise that the media, this time around the bloggers are expected to drive the campaign here, to bring to public awareness the utmost importance of education for children. The media may not be successful in telling people what to think, but are definitely successful in telling people what to think of. We, therefore, need our media persons and on-line journalists to start making the Nigerian people to think of how to tackle the low level of awareness that exists amongst our people towards the realisation of the rights of children to education, developmental and survival issues.
“May we be reminded once again that communication has always been an essential element of individual and social change that would lead, to the achievement of progress results.
“In this regard, there is need for value re-orientation through advocacy and sensitization in this area. I therefore encourage you to also work assiduously to develop clear messages that will sensitise and inspire your clients, “he said.
Eliana Drakapoulous, Chief of Communication, UNICEF in her speech said;
Quality education is a right for all children and the key to oppournities. Despite the clear benefits of basic education, more than 10 million primary school aged children are not in school and millions more are not learning the skills to participate in the economy to improve their lives.
Eliana implored all Nigerians, especially young people to call on the government to invest more in primary education so that the next generation has a better chance to thrive.