The Chief Field Officer of United Nation’s Children Fund (UNICEF), Bauchi Field Office, Bhanu Pathak, has appealed to government for 10 percent budget allocation for pre-primary education.

Speaking at the Gombe state advocacy and policy dialogue on pre-primary education workshop organized by the Gombe state Universal Basic Education Board SUBEB in collaboration with UNICEF Bauchi field office, Bhanu Pathak said UNICEF has a vision to collaborate with government institutions.

Pathak who was represented by Mairama Dikwa Director Peace Education & Social Development said civil society organizations, faith-based organization, communities and other development partners to discuss issues around Early Childhood Education ECE; 

Hence the Advocacy and Policy Dialogue organised with Gombe state key stakeholders to create awareness on the importance of the early years from pre-natal phase to transition and into primary education.

He said it is common knowledge that Early Childhood Development ECD in the life of a child is as crucial and fundamental as it greatly influences their personality in the early stage of life.

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“When children have the right nutrition, protection, stimulation and love, their brains develop well.”

“ECD is the foundation of all the Sustainable Development Goals SDGs and it is part of the five impact areas of UNICEF focus in the new country program for Nigeria," he stated.

Representative of the National Commission for Colleges of Education NCCE at the Advocacy and Policy Dialogue Dr. Amy Panyi stressed the important of pre-primary education as the foundation of education.

The Universal Basic Education Commission UBEC expressed its delightfulness to be at the dialogue.

The executive secretary of UBEC Dr. Hammid Bobboyi who represented by the Chief Academic Planning Officer of the commission Ekweogwu Stella added that the one-year compulsory pre-primary education was established to make sure that children are captured at their very early age.

The Chairman Gombe State Universal Basic Education Board SUBEB Muhammad Gurama said effort is being made on the pre-primary education because 5 percent is earmarked for pre-primary education, 13 percent for the primary education and another percentage goes for the junior secondary education in the SUBEB program. 

He added “But certainly because of the importance of the pre-primary education I will agree with suggestion made by UNICEF to raise the share of pre-primary education.

“I’m sure UBEC is represented here as we discuss this issue here subsequently I believe UBEC also will be willing to look at this very important matter.”

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