The Federal Government and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) have charged educationists, parents, media, nongovernmental organizations, government agencies and other stakeholders to play their respective roles on early childhood development so as to enable the children grow well and reach their full potential in life.
The Assistant Director, Child Right Information Bureau in the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, Abuja, Mr Olumide Osanyinpeju and UNICEF Communication Officer, Mr Rabiu Musa, gave the charge in their separate remarks at a Media Dialogue on Early Childhood Development, (ECD) in Kano, Kano State Tuesday.
Musa said the media dialogue was designed to equip journalists with useful and relevant information that would help and enable them step up thorough and factual reportage of ECD.
Osanyinpeju said the need to propagate early childhood development in Nigeria has become very urgent so as to save the future of the children and urged key partners and stakeholders to focus on ECD.
He tasked the media on aggressive reportage on early childhood development so as to attract the attention of the policy makers to ECD. He commended UNICEF for its leading roles at ensuring ECD.
He added that there is need for all to rise up for the propagation of early childhood development through nurturing care that would ensure good health, nutrition, safety and security, responsive care giving, accessible and quality early learning such as pre-primary education.
“As you know, government alone cannot fight this cause, hence, the need to collaborate with agencies, NGOs and other line partners and organizations to advocate on how best addressing the issue.
“ECD will improve the health of our children and greatly benefit the community. It has a strategic place in the SDGs. The SDGs call for universal access to quality childhood development, care and primary education and provides unprecedented opportunity to scale up early childhood development services and the achievement of other SDGs such as SDGs 1-5, 10, 16 and 17”, Osanyinpeju said.
During the meeting, UNICEF Nutrition Specialist, Dr Bamidele Omotola, the Deputy Director of Universal Basic Education Commission, Dr Omokere Oluseyi of Federal Ministry of Health and a UNICEF Education Specialist, Swadchet Sankey made separate presentations on the ECD situation in Nigeria.