The Federal Government, UNESCO and other partners have launched a one-month digital campaign `Education Saves Lives’, to buttress the need for young people to be educated.
The partners include Federal Ministries of Education, Health, Women Affairs and Social Development, UNFPA, UNAIDS, UN Information Centre, CSOs and other donor, UN agencies.
Mr Lamine Sow, Officer-in-Charge of UNESCO Regional Office, Abuja recalled that African leaders had committed themselves in Agenda 2063.
This is to ensure for people-driven development, relying on the potential of young people, children.
“This is why UNESCO and its partners are working assiduously to ensure that the youth demographic dividend is achieved by engaging in strategic actions that will ensure this gain.
“Our vision is for a Nigeria where positive outcomes in health, education and gender equality are a reality for all adolescents and young people.
“This will enable them to get educated, healthy and thriving citizens of the future, able to contribute to their communities and the country,’’ Sow said.
Sow further hoped that elements of the campaign were systematically shared on social platforms, ensure its trends and the acceptance of the campaign by stakeholders and positive interactions on the Comprehensive Education Information (CEI).
He said, ”we have a mutual goal to achieve, improve the status of education, health and wellbeing of adolescents and young people in Nigeria.
“This campaign has the potential to contribute if we engage in posting, reposting the messages to make them go viral, trend daily and using the hashtags: #EducationSavesLives, #WeNeedToKnow and #Nigeria.’’
Mrs Pauline Tallen, Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, while commending UNESCO said that child care and improving the health of young girls were in the heart of the government.
Represented by Ms. Ucha Kalu, Assistant Chief Social Welfare Officer, Child Development Department, Tallen said the government will keep supporting policies that improve the lives of Nigerians especially young women.
Mr David Adejo, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, called on stakeholders to be consistent in the promotion of education and other aspects of health education.
Represented by Dr Lydia Giginna, he said that with education can improve every aspect of human lives.
Mrs Bosede Odunayo, School Counsellor, Abuja School for the Deaf, Kuje called on stakeholders to provide the infrastructure people living with different forms of disabilities need for their education.
Dr Babatunde Adelekan, National Programme Officer on HIV, Youth of UNFPA said the idea behind the digital campaign came up because it was important to carry young people along in everything.
“It is important we carry young people along in terms of planning, implementation and Nigeria has a big presence of young people in the social media space.
“It is important for people to listen and understand what is happening now, to act on the issues and challenges.
“Findings have shown that education is a great tool for transformation and change, and educating a young person, providing him with the right tools. He will have the right autonomy to do the right thing.
“He will know how to stay healthy and ensure that he has what it takes to actualise his potential,’’ Adelekan said.
Ms Ngozi Amanze, Education National Programme Officer, UNESCO, said that the UN body and partners were ensuring that there is the legal framework on education that includes the disabled, children, young girls, and the youths
Amanze added that the campaign was expected to be posted on all of the organisation’s social media handles that will tag partners, participants at the launch of the campaign and relevant stakeholders.
“The posts will be put up at 9am, 12 pm, 6pm, 8pm and 10pm daily for the next one month and this campaign is going on in 23 countries across West and Central Africa,’’ she said.
Goodwill messages also came in from UNAIDS, Plan International, Civil Society Organisations, and representatives of Persons Living With Disabilities, among others.
Recalls that in November 2020, UNESCO, UNFPA supported FG to organise its national consultation on the status of adolescents and young people.
Then, there were recommendations that focused on young people’s education, reproductive health and gender equality.
The campaign aims to convey a positive narrative on CEI, while the CEI programmes will help young ones to lead healthy, respectful lives.