NAWOJ seeks free, quality education for out-of-school children
Eme Offiong, Calabar
The Nigeria Association of Women Journalists, NAWOJ, has sued for free and quality education to increase enrolment of children in school.
The Chairperson of the association in Cross River State, south-south Nigeria, Mrs. Umo Basi-Edet made the call in Calabar, the capital city, during her message to mark this year’s Day of the African Child with the theme “30 years after the adoption of the Charter: Accelerate the implementation of Agenda 2040 for an Africa fit for children.”
Basi-Edet, who said that it was important for stakeholders such as state and local governments, Non-governmental Organisations to jointly end child labour, emphasised the need for intense awareness campaigns of citizens on the relevance of educating an African child.
She stated, “as we celebrate the Day of the African Child, I want to use this opportunity to call on government and all stakeholders in the sector to see the need to protect the child. Everyday our children are being exposed to a lot of societal ills. We have children being molested; a lot of children are being raped and sexually exploited.
“There is an increasing wave of child labour these days due to the intense poverty and there are a lot of children not enrolled in school due to one thing or the other. Research shows that about one million children currently out of school and so, something needs to be done,” Basi-Edet stated.
The chairperson further explained that “what we also need to do is sensitize the people. Governments at all levels need to be support free education to provide access especially for children from poor homes. The number of out of school children is high in Africa and we cannot continue to fold our hands and wish it away. The government and NGOs including Civil Soccieties should as a matter of urgency push for free education even at the secondary levels.”
She further noted that society in general was not doing enough to addressing the challenges of creating access to quality education for all children, especially those from indigent homes.
According to her, the African child needs improved education system and conducive environment to learn and write efficiently, which are the collective responsibilities of government, the parents and other stakeholders.
She said, “as mothers, as parents and as leaders in the society we have not done enough for our children. Remember, the children are the future of this nation. So we just need to put our hands together. It is a collective responsibility. Let us come together and make the world a better place for our children.”
The NAWOJ State chairperson advised children to be of good conduct by taking their studies more serious, saying “I am advising our children to hold on to the good moral values they are being taught at home to shun gangsterism (cultism), rape, illicit drugs use and other vices capable of hindering your future.
“We join our voices with others around the world to wish our children a happy 2021 Day of the African child,” she added.