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Best Psychometric Student Receives IPCentre’ Scholarship Award

A student of Federal Polytechnic, Bida, Niger State, Miss Adamu Hauwa who emerged overall best at the recently held Psychometrics Examination has received a scholarship from International Psychometric Centre (IPCentre).

The scholarship was a fulfillment of the initial set goal by the institution which is to encourage any student that emerges best in the Psychometrics studies across all institutions taking the course.

International Psychometric Centre’s primary focus is on the Tertiary Education sub-sector of the Nigeria Education Sector where it designs and integrates detailed psychometric studies curricula as separate General Studies Courses into the existing benchmark minimum academic standards for all classes of Tertiary Institutions in Nigeria.

This is in a bid to train Nigerian students and graduates on how to get an understanding of their natural learning preferences and gain important insight into their personality, motivations, natural strengths, and potential areas of growth.

The course according to Timileyin Fashola, the Manager Academics, IPCentre is starting with institutions under the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) and the National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE).

The award presentation which was done to Hauwa, first-ever recipient of the honour was witnessed by the Rector of the institution, Dr Abubakar Dzukogi, Dr Maurison C. Nwanewezi, the Deputy Rector, Academics, Mr Ayodele Aroge, the Head, Open Distance, and Technology Learning who also represented the NBTE Executive Secretary.

Other dignitaries include Dr. Maryam Madami, Psychometrics Desk Officer, Federal Poly, Bida, Engr. Aderinola Tokunbo Martins, the HOD, Chemical Engineering, Mr Jacob Igo, a Psychometrician, Mr Muhammed Eneji, Student Affairs Officer, IPCentre while Comrade Ashiru Adefemi, the SUG President, Federal Poly, Bida and Comrade Adetunji Benedict, the NAPS president were also present.

The executive secretary of NBTE who was represented by Ayodele Aroge in his speech stressed the importance of Psychometrics studies which is a field of study concerned with the theory and technique of psychological measurement relating it with the way technology is changing the educational system.

He lauded the effort of the International Psychometric Centre for introducing a hundred percent online course, starting from the registration to assessment of students, and being the head of the open distance learning section of NBTE, he, however, assured that the board will ensure that the program is running effectively and will only get better.

IPCentre through her representatives further shed more light on the relevance of psychometrics to students. Saying “it was emphasized that 21st-century organizations would continue to rely on psychometric tests to determine the best candidate for the available job position, as the world does not rely on what class of degree student’s graduates with, rather, it is now about what you can do”.

He added that students will therefore only know what they can do by first identifying who they are and what their strengths and weaknesses are through Psychometrics. “It is important for students to take this course early enough so as to get it right in the beginning”.

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DiscussEconomyEducationSpecial Report

OPINION: Youth Perspectives, Education, Unemployment, Economic Opportunities & Justice

Every year hundreds of thousands of youth from different state graduate from Senior Secondary Schools, Trade Schools, Polytechnics, and Universities at different levels into a non-existent labour market. Year after year, more are added and the population of unemployed youth in Nigeria has swollen to an unimaginable level that should cause all right thinking leaders and fathers of Nigeria grave concern. It is an explosive situation and the tell tale signs of approaching both regional and national calamity are mirrored by the following tendencies:

Increasing involvement of post secondary school graduate in fighting introducing new levels of sophistication in planning and execution particularly in youth’s demonstration. Emergence of a deadly set of trouble makers  and assassins who are so bitter against the society to the extent that their object is not just to steal but to destroy and exact their perceived pound of flesh from a society that has abandoned them.

The youth and youngsters of the Nigeria were not born with criminal tendencies in their blood. The Nigeria is known for utmost revere for core cultural and societal values most of which hold brotherly love sacrosanct. However, today these youth have found themselves in an environment where the rich flaunt their wealth with reckless abandon, whereas they (the youth) as perceived, are denied the opportunity and access to acquire such wealth. The average youth of Nigeria today believes those ahead of them have cornered and closed up to the nation’s wealth chiefly derived from nature’s (God given) endowment of their mother land. They now see crime as one sure route to survival and access to acquire wealth.

Now is the time for organ of government entrusted with the affairs of that region to sit up and devise a credible means to tame these monstrous tendencies before it consumes all of them. As stated earlier, the solution can be found in creating as many jobs as possible in a hurry. Creating credible and sustainable youth empowerment programmes in all parts of the country, is the answer. The present ugly situation can be reversed if the Federal Ministry of youth development and leaders of our country get truly committed to job creation. One cannot overemphasis the fact that the survival of thousands of youths is dependent on the quality of education, patriotism, social and political orientation and the value system of its youths who are our future leaders.

My mission therefore, is to guide the present government of Nigeria and assist in providing a solution to the challenges faced by Nigerian youths below:

  • Unemployment
  • Low level of Vocational Skill
  • Financial Hardship
  • Lack of Social Connection
  • Negative Peer Influence.

The focuses on issues such as drug abuse, crime, violence, sexuality and poverty. In addition to these, today’s youth are afflicted by new challenges which include:

  1. An Identity Crisis: Who am I?
  2. Lack of self-confidence and low self-esteem: I am worthless
  3. A sense of hopelessness: Where am I going?
  4. Confusion and ambiguity concerning moral issues: What is right and wrong?
  5. Confusion and ambiguity concerning National economic standards as it affects the Nigeria areas of youth in relation to other regions
  6. The negative impact of the electronic media: Entertainment.

All these have resulted in youth restiveness and eventually in crime. Kidnapping in the area have currently assumed the status of a giant monster. I recognize that Nigerian government have a serious challenge on their hands to ensure that today’s children (tomorrow’s adults) would have a better life and an assured future. They should all work towards this objective and not wait for a crisis to occur and then react, let them be prepared.

Every student in the Nigeria deserves the chance to go to college.

Most Nigerian high school students want to attend college. They recognize that higher education is the most direct path to success in their future careers. College also provides opportunities to explore talents and develop leadership skills they can use to participate more fully in adult life—at home, at work, and in their communities.

Millions of students can’t afford the tuition.

It’s estimated that between 2007 and 2017, nearly 2.2 million students won’t pursue college degrees because their families can’t afford the high costs of higher education.

Low-income students are particularly hard hit.

Only one in 10 low-income students can expect to graduate from college. This is not due to a lack of talent but instead to the high costs of tuition and to the fact that many graduate high school without the skills they need to succeed in college. They also lack guidance on how to choose a school, apply for admission, and fill out financial aid forms.

Thousands of low-income, minority students are highly motivated and ready for college every year. We’re working to help them get there through scholarship programs. We’re also creating programs in lower performing schools designed to help low-income students get ready to enter—and then succeed in—college.

I believe in educating future leaders committed to improving the lives of others.

Youth’s encourage leadership and public service in the Nigeria and abroad. Government of Nigeria most provide ideas for graduate student in fields that benefit local and global communities.

 

 

 

Amb Abdullahi Bindawa DSC ,UN Security Expert ,Nigerian educator, Humanitarian worker and was the most widely recognized young leader in Africa continent.

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EducationFoodHealth

USAID Awards $500,000 to Local Organizations in Africa and Europe to Address Gender-Based Violence

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) announced $500,000 to grantees in North Macedonia, South Africa, Nigeria, Botswana, and Bosnia and Herzegovina for projects that will reduce gender-based violence (GBV). Through the Collective Action to Reduce Gender-Based Violence (CARE-GBV) Small Grants Program, the grantees will build organizational cultures that promote self-care and wellness for staff to help strengthen the quality of GBV programming.

Through the CARE-GBV Small Grants Program, the grantees will build organizational cultures that promote self-care and wellness for staff

The staff of GBV organizations often deal with burnout and secondary trauma due to the nature of their work. The grantees will elevate staff wellness and resiliency in GBV programming; fill global data gaps related to self-care and wellness for staff of GBV organizations, and build on learning from the COVID–19 pandemic.

  • In Bosnia and Herzegovina, Žene sa Une (ZSU) will create a Staff Wellness and Resiliency-Building Program to facilitate learning about GBV prevention, staff wellness, care, and resilience. ZSU will continue to support post-pandemic operations that accommodate a 30–40 percent increase in the need for services in safe houses from domestic violence and increased need for support from its child care center.
  • In Botswana, Women Against Rape (WAR) will build institutional capacity to prevent, recognize, and respond to the presence of vicarious trauma in client-facing staff, as well as promote emotional resilience, while building staff capacity to better support and respond to the needs of GBV survivors.
  • In Nigeria, Sexual Offences Awareness and Response Initiative (SOAR) will strengthen the overall capacity and culture of civil society organizations by promoting staff wellness and resilience in those organizations for effective GBV prevention and response programming.
  • In South Africa, Sexual Violence Research Initiative (SVRI) will develop an online course and host a knowledge exchange series focused on self-, staff-, and collective care, wellness, and resilience.
  • In North Macedonia, Crisis Center Hope will support GBV advocates with practices in self-care, wellness, and resiliency.

USAID received 518 applications from 68 countries, of which five finalists were selected to receive awards ranging from $50,000 to $125,000 over a one-year period. Each of the final organizations selected for the CARE-GBV Small Grants Program is locally-led by women, including women who identify as GBV survivors.

USAID’s CARE-GBV strengthens collective prevention and response in GBV development programming across USAID. The program will achieve this strengthening by supporting USAID’s Bureau for Development, Democracy, and Innovation (DDI) Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment Hub (GenDev) in the development of guidelines, strategic plans, training, and professional networking support.

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AfricaCoverEducationEvents

Celebrating Northern Academic Excellence

 

Dr.Bawumia interacts with the students

Veep Opens New 600 bedrooms girls dormitory

….As TAMASCO Launches 70th Anniversary  Event

Story: Mohammed Abu,ADM,Accra

The Vice President of the Republic of Ghana,His Excellency,Alhaj Dr.Mahmudu Bawumia,on Saturday opened a 600 bedroom girls dormitory at the campus of Tamale Senior High School(TAMASCO),in the Northern region, funded by MTN,Ghana.

The opening of the new girls dormitory in addition to being honoured by the School’s  Board of Governors with a new house in the school  named after him, formed the major highlights of the official launch of Tamasco’s  70th Anniversary celebrations slated for September this year.

The prelude to the event was a colourful  guard of honour mounted in his honour as the Special Guest for the occasion  by the Tamasco Cadet Corps.

The Chairman for the occasion,Col (rtd) Mahmud Tahiru,also the Zung Lana(Chief of Zung,Northern region ) and the Northern Regional Representative of the Council of State,in his opening remarks,entreated students to uphold discipline and hard work in school..”The Vice President is what he is today, because during his school days, he was married to his books” he intimated.

He also noted that the school  isn’t just the premier senior High School of the North founded with 25 pioneer students in 1951,but also, the school since its birth  have  turned out numerous high profile personalities who had played diverse roles in the country’s development.

In the field of defense and security of the country,he recounted that the school had produced two former chiefs of Defense staff and,an  Inspector General of Police(IGP).Then as it relates to the judicature of the country, two former Supreme Court  Justices.

On the democratic governance landscape,the school, he further noted, produced the current Veep and the current Speaker of Parliament  .”The current number two and three gentleman positions  of the land is therefore occupied by TAMASCANS”,he underscored.

In his welcome address,Rev. Azeka,Headmaster of the school,reported  a recent marginal increase in the school’s performance and ,hinted that the school had set a target annual 10 percent  performance increase rate and  measures have been put in place to achieve the set target.

He also took note of the starling performance of TAMASCO  in the National Science and Mathematics  Quiz  Competition.’We are the only school in the north to be consistently present and this gives a good account of ourselves” he noted with satisfaction adding, that the school is also on record to have rivaled  leading southern sector schools such as the likes of Achimota School and others.

He also acknowledged the unflinching  and invaluable support of the 1986 and other Year Groups of the school towards the quiz competition.

An on-going 12 unit classroom block project being funded by the Kuwaiti Fund for Arab Economic Development,he also disclosed, was  due completion soon while an old student, Alhaj Ibrahim Mahama, had also committed to building a school block for 1000 students.

The major handicap of the school he also hinted, had to do with transportation adding that, a number of the school vehicles were broken down. A school with a student population of 3,600 he further disclosed, have  had to manage with a one 23 sitter  bus.

The school he further disclosed, lacks pick-up vehicles for rounds relating to  administrative duties while some houses and the old kitchen also needs rehabilitation.He  therefore made an appeal for support in order to ameliorate the situation.

The Chief Executive Officer of MTN,Ghana,Selorm Adadevoh,which funded the GHC2.8 million girls dormitory project on his part, said corporate social investment in the area of education occupies a lofty place in its Corporate Social Responsibility(CSR).He disclosed that within the past 25 years,MTN had funded 187 education projects countrywide.

Touching on the 600 completed girls dormitory project,he noted,“Young girls deserve wholesome and decent environment to study”.

MTN had also offered 100’s of Scholarships to needy but brilliant students,funded IT and digital library centers.The new age technology paradigm he said was taken seriously by MTN and as such,robotic libraries and centers were also targeted areas for investment.

Mr.Adadevoh, said it was his hope that the staff would work with students  to ensure a good maintenance culture.

The Vice President,the Special Guest Speaker for the occasion, recounting the history of the school noted that the school was the first ever Senior High school to be established in the the history of the entire  North.

Twenty-five 25 pioneer students that included the late Alhaj Gbdamoshie and others he recounted, were used to establish the school in 1951,and out ot the number only one of them, a prominent Lawyer is  still alive.

Dr.Bawumia  took cognizance of the fact that as of TAMASCO’s birth date, the colonial southern sector was already ahead of the north in terms of secondary education by 75 years.

Despite the wide difference  between when secondary education was established  in the north as against the south,the north Dr.Bawumia noted, nonetheless,has done a lot up till today.

Endorsing “The  Northern light”  accolade, for TAMASCO, he said the school had  indeed done so much as to deserve it.To buttress his point, he cited the magnanimous contribution of its numerous high profile personalities who were also old students towards  the economic development of the nation.”Not withstanding the achievements however,he noted there was still more room for improvement’.

He assured that government was there to support and reposition the entire educational system of the country so as to prepare citizens towards the fourth industrial revolution.

He expressed great appreciation to the MTN Foundation for the good job done while also recounting his proposal to the MTN a couple of years back and its ready willingness to  fund  such a project in the north.He also acknowledged the Kuwaiti Fund for its support.

Dr.Bawumia thanking the TAMASCO  Board of Governors for their decision to honour him with an additional new house,Bawumia House ,said, he had least expected it since he was simply doing his bit as an old student of the school.

He said he was humbled and had accepted the award not just for him as a person but on behalf of all Old  TAMASCANS whose collective contributions in diverse ways had led to the development of the school.

Dr.Bawumia disclosed that the Managing Director  of Geodrill Ghana Ltd,Mr.David Harper had donated  an amount of one hundred and fifty thousand Ghana Cedis( GHC150,000.00) as part of the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility(CSR) towards the  development of education and particularly,on the occasion of Tamale Senior High School(TAMASCO’s) 70th  anniversary celebrations.

In response to the Headmaster’s earlier appeal for more support he pledged to rehabilitate two school houses and the old school kitchen.

Asphalting of all of TAMASCO’s internal roads has been  completed  as an important component of the face lift  being  given the school and initiated by the  Veep.

In his address, he indicated that, he had also directed that the initiative be extended to TAMASCO’s other four next door neigbouring schools, of Tamale Technical University College and  others in the Education Ridge enclave of Tamale.

 

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AgrictechAgricultureEconomyEducation

Special Announcement: AWC to launch investment opportunities, support education in DRC

African Women Council, Inc led by President, Marie -Rose Sirikari has announced its plans to make positive impact on the lives on the citizen of DRC through investment opportunities, education support and humanitarian assistance.

This was made in the announcement received by African Development Magazine.

Theme:AN APPROACH TO ECONOMIC INVESTMENT IN THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO

His Excellency, Amb. Malik Nodeem Abid (Secretary General & Executive Director at International Human Rights Commission – RFT Headquarters) as the special guest speaker among others speakers,

Also invited dignitaries are executive directors which include; Lady Tee Thompson, (CEO Agrobiz), Lady B Bless, (Lady B Bless Humanitarian Foundation), Mary Apollo , (Journalist and leader of South Sudan) among other notable dignitaries.

To be part of the historic event; join the Live stream webcast on Wednesday June 30, 2021 at 10:00am US Eastern Standard time.

African Women Council, Inc (AWC) is a 501 (c) (3) humanitarian national and international organization whose mission is to build strong communities by providing African women and children with access to literacy and health education, civic participation and entrepreneurship programs, that create a better future for themselves and their families in Africa; particularly in Democratic Republic of Congo where the problems is severe, with the aim of alleviating the suffering of women and children in the East Part of  DRC

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Banking & FinanceEconomyEducationInternational

IsDB, ISFD NGOs Empowerment for Poverty Reduction Program

Following the program introductory mapping workshops organized in 2020 and launching the crowdfunding academy in Kazakhstan. Today, the Resilience and Social Development Department (RSD), Islamic Solidarity Fund for Development (ISFD), Astana International Financial Center (AIFC) and Program strategic partner (UNDP) had celebrated its closing ceremony in Kazakhstan, an important journey of finalizing the crowdfunding academy training, partnership with the ultimate objective to improve the socio-economic well-being of the most vulnerable and hard to reach communities in Kazakhstan and IsDB Member Countries.

27 CSOs participated in the Academy, developed a crowdfunding campaign using e-learning tools and offline training by following a tested program that offers learning materials and presentations, work assignments and guidance from leading crowdfunding experts.

In his opening remark, Abdi Abdullahi, the Principal, Social Development Resilience & Social Development, said, “I am delighted to see that the international aggregated platform is known as TADAMON” “Solidarity in Arabic” is indeed an effective vehicle for equipping winners of the crowdfunding academy with tools to benefit from crowdsourcing and crowdfunding”. Khemais El Gazzah Senior Adviser to the ISFD DG said “I’m excited that today you have presented us the outcome of the first batch of CSOs graduating from this capacity building crowdfunding training academy. This means they will campaign on TADAMON and ensure delivering their projects at their local community grass root level.  In addition, the IsDB Civil Society Lead (Ahmed Berthe) said, “The successful conclusion of this training is an important milestone on the road to the rest of the CSOs in our 57 MCs.

The successful conclusion of this training is an important milestone on the road to the rest of the CSOs in our 57 MCs

The TADAMON (TADAMON.community) Crowdfunding Academy, is an online training program that enables civil society organizations (CSOs) to raise funds using crowdfunding, aims to empower CSOs with know-how on how to finance their projects and ideas in alternative ways, build and grow their community, give their projects more visibility, and engage more partners and donors.

The program’s mission comes on the back of a US $10 million seed contribution of the ISFD. It seeks to empower CSOs in IsDB Member Countries to improve the socio-economic well-being of the hard-to-reach communities through refugees’ education, job creation, building resilience, and training, among which the crowdfunding academy and community livelihoods development.

The TADAMON Crowdfunding Academy is a part of the IsDB – ISFD NGO Empowerment for Poverty Reduction Program, which is sponsored by the Islamic Solidarity Fund for Development (ISFD), managed by the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), and implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and other strategic partners.

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EducationHealth

WHO, UNESCO urge countries to make every school a health-promoting school

UNESCO and the World Health Organization today launched the Global Standards for Health-promoting Schools, a resource package for schools to improve the health and well-being of 1.9 billion school-aged children and adolescents.  The closure of many schools around the world during the COVID-19 pandemic has caused severe disruptions to education.  An estimated 365 million primary school students have gone without school meals and significantly increased rates of stress, anxiety and other mental health issues have been observed.

“Schools play a vital role in the well-being of students, families and their communities, and the link between education and health has never been more evident,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General.  “These newly launched global standards are designed to create schools that nurture education and health, and that equip students with the knowledge and skills for their future health and well-being, employability and life prospects.”

Based on a set of eight global standards, the resource package aims to ensure all schools promote life skills, cognitive and socioemotional skills and healthy lifestyles for all learners.  These global standards will be piloted in Botswana, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya and Paraguay.  The initiative contributes to WHO’s 13th General Program of Work target of ‘1 billion lives made healthier’ by 2023 and the global Education 2030 Agenda coordinated by UNESCO.

“Education and health are interdependent basic human rights for all, at the core of any human right, and essential to social and economic development,” said UNESCO Director General, Audrey Azouley.  “A school that is not health-promoting is no longer justifiable and acceptable.  I call for all of us to affirm our commitment and role, to make every school a health-promoting school”.

The global standards provide a resource for education systems to help foster health and well-being through stronger governance.  UNESCO and WHO will work with governments to enable countries to adapt the package to their specific contexts.  The evidence is clear.  Comprehensive school health and nutrition programmes in schools have significant impacts among school-aged children.  For example:

·       School health and nutrition interventions for girls and boys in low-income areas where worms and anaemia are prevalent can lead to 2.5 years of additional schooling.

Based on a set of eight global standards, the resource package aims to ensure all schools promote life skills, cognitive and socioemotional skills and healthy lifestyles

·       Malaria prevention interventions can result in a 62% reduction in absenteeism.

·       Nutritious school meals increase enrolment rates by 9% on average, and attendance by 8%; they can also reduce anaemia in adolescent girls by up to 20%.

·       Hand-washing promotion reduces absenteeism due to gastrointestinal and respiratory illnesses by 21% -61% in low-income countries.

·       Free screening and eyeglasses have led to a 5% higher probability of students passing standardized tests in reading and math.

·       Comprehensive sexuality education encourages the adoption of healthier behaviours, promotes sexual and reproductive health and rights, and improves sexual and reproductive health outcomes such as the reduction of HIV infection and adolescent pregnancy rates.

·       Improving water and sanitation (WASH) services and supplies in school, as well as knowledge on menstrual hygiene, equips girls to maintain their body hygiene and health with dignity, and may limit the number of school days missed during menstruation.

The Health Promoting Schools approach was first articulated by WHO, UNESCO and UNICEF in 1995 and adopted in over 90 countries and territories.  However, few countries have implemented it at scale, and even fewer have effectively adapted their education systems to include health promotion.  The new global standards will help countries to integrate health promotion into all schools and boost the health and well-being of their children.

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AfricaEducation

Schools must be open, accessible and safe from attacks, say African children

  • African children speak out about how the COVID-19 pandemic tipped an existing education safety crisis to breaking point

While the continent is celebrating Day of the African Child and the 30th anniversary of the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACRWC), African children are sending a clear and urgent message to governments and donors: Save our Education and make schools safe.

Even before COVID-19 school closures hit, millions of children across Africa’s crisis and conflict-affected countries were losing out on education. Children in Sub-Saharan Africa have lost, on average, 69 days of education due to school closures and a lack of access to remote learning.

Now, during Save the Children’s campaign 100 Days of Action, thousands of African children used the days leading up to June 16 to speak about missing quality safe access to education due to factors like the global pandemic, unsafe schools, and discrimination against girls.

In Zambia, children are campaigning for more funding for their schooling, using radio and social media to ask for new schools and better sanitation and hygiene facilities to protect them from COVID-19. In Sudan, children led a campaign to interview power-holders, including the EU ambassador and the Minister of Social Development, to ask them how their education will be restored post-COVID-19. In Puntland, northern Somalia, child campaigners met with the Ministers of Education, Planning, and Social Affairs to ask them to prioritize education and to invest in children’s learning to tackle the impact of COVID-19 on education.

In Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Yakob, 16, said: “COVID-19 had affected me in many ways. But the major problem I had during the COVID-19 school closure was depression. You can’t see your friends, go to school. Being cooped up in the house was really rough for me. What I want to achieve during this 100 Days of Action is be a voice for children. There are many children and youngsters in Ethiopia. I want to be their voice so that they’ll have a life that’s free from abuse, educated and a productive part of the society.”

In Mali, members of the children’s parliament visited a displacement camp where 52 children live in a centre without any access to education, and called on national leaders, raising awareness of their situation and demanding the right to education for all Malian children. In DRC, nearly 100 girls from conflict-affected Bunia territory spoke about both progress and challenges in how they access safe education.

In Mali, Fatima, 15, Member of the national children’s parliament in Mali, said: “Authorities, decision-makers and donors need, as first step, to find out what is really missing in the schools, and then provide a budget that can cover the needs. The education of children in conflict areas is disastrous. Imagine a child going to school and seeing it on fire! He will of course not want to go back, he will think that it’s not a safe place. And unfortunately, this exists in our country. All children have the right to a quality education. Let’s commit ourselves so that tomorrow this right can be respected everywhere in the world.”

Authorities, decision-makers and donors need, as first step, to find out what is really missing in the schools, and then provide a budget that can cover the needs

COVID-19 has exacerbated existing inequalities in school systems across Africa and has a catastrophic impact on the most vulnerable who do not have access to any form of social protection. While some schools across the continent have re-opened, many children remain at home due to conflict, climate shocks, or poverty. In southern Somalia, where schools have reopened, up to 73% of children have not returned to class[ii].

Between mid-2017 and mid-2019, the central Sahel countries of Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger witnessed a six-fold increase in school closures due to attacks and insecurity. By the end of December 2020[iii] as the continent continues to respond to the health crisis, 3864 schools were closed in these countries as the result of conflict, with eight million children out of school and 19,000 teachers affected.

In Burkina Faso, Salimata*, in Grade 10, said: “I come from a village in the north of Burkina Faso. I’m the eldest of a family of five children. I came to Ouahigouya last year to save my life. In my village, all the classes are closed. Several times, we were visited by armed men who forced us to stop classes. This situation has disrupted my studies and I’m having difficulty catching up. ButI have faith in the future and I hope to succeed in life to help my family. “

In Somalia, more than three million children are out of school due to conflict and other crises[iv]. While the situation varies from country to country and between rural and urban areas, overall 56% of the out of school children are girls.

In Somalia, Farhiya*, 16, said: “When I grow up, I want to be a doctor, but I am worried about not completing my studies because of school closures and the pandemic. I have seen children dropping out of school because they have either lost their source of income and that their families cannot pay school fees, or because girls are married off during school closure.”

Eric Hazard, Save the Children’s Panafrican Campaign and Policy Director, said: “African children are demanding for more to be done to protect their education. The pandemic has shown that children’s education remains a tenuous priority for many African governments, with children losing months of education due to conflict, funding, and policy decisions. 

“While we commend the African Union for progress made in meeting the ACRWC aspirations, and we know Governments are still dealing with the health crisis, we need education to be top of their agenda for a post COVID world. Before COVID-19, education budgets across the region were declining, and governments must not deprioritise it further when they have to make tough choices. It’s the right time to restore access to education for all and bring a specific attention to girls.”

Save the Children is also calling on African leaders to ensure that as they focus on their response to COVID-19, students and educational facilities are protected from attacks and from military use. Governments must invest more to transform their education systems and the future of Africa, which has the youngest population in the world. Despite progress across the continent, Sub-Saharan Africa is still home to the worst countries on earth to be a child. African governments need to recognize that school closures hit the most vulnerable children hardest, and adopt national plans to ensure they will support appropriate low-tech, inclusive, gender-responsive and affordable distance education methods where necessary.

Save the Children is also calling on those countries who have yet to sign onto the ACRWC to do so.  30 years after its adoption, 50 countries have ratified the ACRWC but five countries are yet to ratify, including Morocco, Somalia, South Sudan, and Tunisia. Save the Children encourages member states to report on the progress made in the implementation of the ACRWC consistently, and calls on Member states to effectively implement the Safe Schools Declaration, the Abuja Declaration commitments, and ensure that SDG 4 is implemented.

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