… As Taraba, Adamawa Has No Record of ECD
By Femi Bolaji
The United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF has said only 10 percent children between the ages of 0-8 years across the country are enrolled in schools for primary education for Early Childhood Development, ECD.
The statistics according to UNICEF has become worrisome, since the cognitive growth of every child depends solely on ECD.
The Education officer, UNICEF Bauchi Field Office, Mairama Dikwa who explained this on Thursday at a two days Policy and Advocacy Dialogue on Pre-Primary Education for Adamawa and Taraba states in Yola, Adamawa state capital, further disclosed that 60 percent under five children in Nigeria are at risk of not fulfilling their full development.
This according to her is permeated by poverty and other environmental and psychological hazards children mostly in rural areas are exposed to.
She said “toxic stress influences the personality of of most children in their early life stages and that is why most parents are advised not to fight in front of the children because it has negative impact on their well-being.
“Also if you visit most IDP camps, you will hear children saying they will like to become soldiers when they grow up. The violence they have been exposed to in the early stage of their lives have influenced their decisions .”
However, a review of Early Childhood Development, ECD across public primary schools in Taraba and Adamawa states shows there is no available data for ECD budget line.
According to a survey in both states, no data of budget line was acquired for the 1945 public primary schools in Adamawa and 1862 of same in Taraba.
Dr. Sunday Jacob of the Federal College of Education, Pankshin, Plateau state who presented the data however noted that UNICEF has trained 94 ECD teachers in Adamawa and 144 in Taraba.
He further cautioned stakeholders in the education sector in both states present at the workshop to stop playing politics with the future of children by living up on expectation.
The workshop which was meant to brainstorm on effective ways of implementing pre primary education polices in regard to Early Childhood Development, ECD drew participants from SUBEB, Ministry of Education, State Legislature, Media among others from both states.