By Tobias Lengnan Dapam
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), yesterday canvassed for an equipped educational system for Nigerian youths.
UNICEF’s Country Representative in Nigeria, Pernille Ironside said such strong system will provide the Nigerian youth with the needed skills to enable them confront future challenges.
Speaking at the maiden edition of Naija Youth Talk with the theme “The Nigeria We Want,” in Abuja, Ironside noted that: “In the education sector, which is the focus of today’s brainstorming, our young people want an education system with good learning outcomes, where a child with nine years of basic education could read and write and have excellent numeracy skills.
“Young people want an education that is functional, equipping them with skills to compete in the highly technical global market place.”
At the programme organised to commemorate the International Literacy Day held every September 8, the Agency
Represented by the Chief of Education, , Euphrates Efosie, the Country Representative lamented that Nigeria has the world’s highest number of out-of-school children.
“More than 10.5 million Nigerian children are not in school.
“Nigeria’s youth bulge is one of the largest in the world. Out of a population of 200 million, more than 64 million persons are in the 15 to 35 –year age bracket; an age bracket normally categorized as young persons.
“It is easy to see this as a challenge to national development and it can be, if not properly managed and harnessed. But the youth population of any nation is a key ingredient of national development, a bridge and transition to a prosperous future.
“Young people today live in a world of unlimited potential. However, despite gains in the situation facing Nigerian children and young people in recent years, much remains to be done.
“Too many Nigerian children and young people are being left behind, especially when it comes to education.
“UNICEF and partners want to build on the momentum of young people as we commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Convention of the Rights of the Child this year and keep youth voices at the centre of the debate”.
This is even as the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, charged Nigerian youth to love the country despite its many faults.
Speaking at the event, Adesina insisted that for Nigerian youth to get the kind of country they want, they must love the country and pay the needed sacrifices for it to grow.