Alarming Number of Out-of-School Children in Kano State
UNICEF Reveals Nearly One Million Children in Kano Lack Access to Education
Kano State in Northwestern Nigeria is currently facing a dire situation with a staggering 989,234 out-of-school children, as reported by the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF).
The revelation came during a news conference in Kano by UNICEF representative in Nigeria, Ms. Cristian Munduate. She highlighted the urgency of ensuring that every child has access to education, emphasizing that this alarming statistic comprises both genders.
Ms. Munduate stressed the need for Nigeria to redouble its efforts in addressing the critical issue of out-of-school children and to make significant investments in the education sector.
She firmly stated, “There is the need for every child to have access to education.” In addition to this concerning issue, she disclosed that 1.5 million girls were enrolled in schools under UNICEF’s Girls’ Education Project Phase 3, which was implemented between 2012 and 2022.
The project, funded by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office of the U.K, was executed in Kano, Bauchi, Katsina, Niger, Sokoto, and Zamfara. Ms. Munduate also highlighted the state of the health sector in Kano.
She noted that the state currently has 484 Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs), distributed across its 484 political wards. These PHCs are expected to provide a full complement of Tier I Minimum Service Package services around the clock.
These healthcare facilities should be staffed by an adequate number of skilled birth attendants to offer antenatal care, delivery, and postnatal care services.
Presently, Kano boasts 185 such PHCs, coming close to fulfilling the requirement of one functional PHC per ward. To meet the Sustainable Development Goal target, Ms. Munduate stressed that the state government must invest to establish functional PHCs in all 484 wards that meet the Tier I Minimum Service Package requirements by 2026.
Furthermore, Ms. Munduate mentioned a significant achievement in the realm of birth registration. Since the introduction of digital birth registration in 2022, Kano State has successfully registered 1.3 million new births and children under the age of five.
This initiative aims to ensure the proper documentation of births, an essential aspect of child development and social services. The data collected through birth registration can be invaluable for various developmental and planning purposes.
In conclusion, the situation of nearly one million out-of-school children in Kano State is a pressing concern that requires immediate attention and intervention.
Ensuring access to quality education for all children is essential for the state’s development and future prospects. Additionally, investments in healthcare infrastructure are vital to meet the healthcare needs of the population, particularly mothers and children.
Finally, digital birth registration is a promising step towards providing necessary services and support to children and their families.