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UNICEF Reports One-Third of School Children in Kano Lack Literacy and Numeracy Skills



UNICEF Reports One-Third of School Children in Kano Lack Literacy and Numeracy Skills

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), has revealed that about one-third of children going to school in Kano state, lack literacy and numeracy skills.

Michael Obanda, Senior Education Manager for Kano Field Office of UNICEF, made the revelation during a Stakeholders’ Meeting on the EU-supported Education and Youth Empowerment (EYE) project for Kano State, organized by the Kano State Ministry of Education, UNICEF and EU.

The meeting was held at the Covid-19 Conference Hall, Kano state Ministry of Education.

According to him, “Kano, among other states in the North-West has the highest number of out-of-school children.

” You may also know that for those who go to school—most of these children come out of the school system without requisite skills in literacy and numeracy.

” It is even safe to say that one-third of these children who go into the school system can not read or write simple sentences.

“Already, you have two things: you have children who are out-of-school; and you have children who are in school, but cannot read or write, meaning that they do not have the foundation of literacy and numeracy skills.

” Then, we have the third issue: that is when we get children into a school system or any school of learning, we expect that they come out with skills- skills that will make marketable in the job market, skills that will make them self-sustaining, even to be able to start a business, and be competitive in the global world.”

Obanda said the EYE project is designed, not only to expose children to qualitative education, but to also enable them acquire skills that will enhance their economic potentials.

He added that: ” So, when you see this EYE project entitled youth empowerment, the empowerment part is that they should have the requisite skills to be competitive in the job market.

So, because of these three issues, this project has come, and we hope that in Sokoto, Kano and Jigawa, we will enroll and skill 1.5 million children.”

He further stated that UNICEF and its partners are taking the EYE project to Quaranic schools, with the intention to include literacy and numeracy curriculum into the Quaranic schools syllabus.

” This project also transcends Basic Education alone, because we do not believe that focusing on Basic Education alone, will allow the whole education outcome that we seek for. So, we are also looking at Integrated Quaranic Schools.

” And the idea is that we have the Quaranic Schools do Integrated Curriculum that will include literacy and numeracy, beyond the religious education.

” That way, we are going to catch everyone, including those who have no space to the formal schools—-they will go through the formal schools.”

Obanda hinted that among the three states (Sokoto, Jigawa and Kano) benefiting from the four-year intervention project, Kano has the highest share in terms of resources, because of its population.

According to him, the project is largely funded by the European Union, with Kano state government and UNICEF providing counterpart funds.

He said UNICEF will be spending about half-a-million dollars for the four-year project in Sokoto, Jigawa and Kano states.

Speaking with journalists after the stakeholders meeting, Kano state Commissioner of Education, Alhaji Haruna Umar Doguwa, said the EYE project targets interventions in education, child protection, portable water supply and environmental sanitation, among other issues.

He added that the project, “also has to do with anything that will help to enroll more children into the school; anything that will help in adding more quality to our educational system. That is what Kano state government wants. As long as the EU and UNICEF are ready for this project, we are ready.”