Wellbeing of children cornerstone of Nigeria’s future – Children Parliament  

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By Philip Yatai

The Children Parliament, Federal Capital Territory (FCT) says the wellbeing of children is the cornerstone of the future of Nigeria.

The Speaker of the parliament, Rahama Waziri, stated this at the 2024 National Children’s Day in Abuja on Monday.

The theme of the event was, “Enhancing the Total Wellbeing of the Nigerian Child through Quality Education and Skills Development”.

Waziri said that the event provided the needed opportunity to discuss how to collectively ensure that every Nigerian child receives the education and skills necessary to thrive.

According to her, empowering children with education and skills is pivotal to the sustainable growth and development of the country.

“It is through their eyes that we envision a brighter tomorrow, and it is through their development that we can achieve it.

“Education is the bedrock of any progressive society. It is the tool that empowers individuals to transcend the limitations of their circumstances and achieve their full potential.

“For the Nigerian child, quality education is not just a right but a necessity. It is the gateway to opportunities, the key to breaking the cycle of poverty, and the foundation for a prosperous and equitable society.

She also stressed the need for skills development, describing it as crucial in preparing children for the challenges and opportunities of the future.

She noted that the world was rapidly evolving, and the jobs of tomorrow would demand a diverse set of skills.

“It is imperative that we children are equipped with both technical and soft skills that will enable us to adapt and thrive.

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“We need to ensure that schools are well-equipped with modern facilities, including libraries, laboratories, digital resources, with curriculum updated to reflect current realities and future projections.

“In this digital age, technology plays a crucial role in education. Integrating ICT in classrooms can enhance learning experiences and provide students with the skills needed in a tech-driven world,” she said.

School children during a match pass at the 2024 National Children’s Day in Abuja on Monday

Responding to the children’s call, President Bola Tinubu said that the Federal Government has embarked on key transformative policies to create a conducive learning environment across the country.

Tinubu, who was represented by the FCT Minister of State, Dr Mariya Mahmoud, re-affirmed his administration’s commitment to all matters relating to the total wellbeing and development of the Nigerian child.

He said that the Federal government had established the National Education Data System, approved skill development for all levels of education and teachers ‘training in digital skills.

“Government is committed to establishing 24 skills and innovation hubs and Entrepreneurship Centres across the country.

“Also, the FG is set to inaugurate private sector Innovation Enterprise Centres across the country to deliver on the skills acquisition programme of the government.

“The government is also building 91 Vocational Centres in secondary schools across the country to ensure that all levels of education enjoy the impact of our policy.

“We are also working with the State Commissioners of Women Affairs and the State Ministries of Education, State Universal Basic Education Board and Civil Society Organisations to ensure quality education and skills development for Nigerian children,” Tinubu said.

Similarly, Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye, assured the children that their rights would be protected.

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Kennedy-Ohanenye said: “When it comes to fighting for your rights, I shall always be there for you because Mr. President said the poor shall breathe and the children are one of the vulnerable.”

Mr Adedayo Benjamin-Laniyi, Mandate Secretary, Women Affairs Secretariat, FCT Administration, explained that since 1964, May 27 of every year has been set aside to celebrate the Nigerian child.

Benjamin-Laniyi also said that the day was also to promote policies that protect children’s rights, education, and other necessities of human rights.

She said that the FCT, under Nyesom Wike, was working to ensure that every child in the FCT had access to quality education, and skills development for them to excel in life. (NAN)

Edited by Abiemwense Moru

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