UNICEF charges media on quality reportage of SBMC
The United Nation's Children Fund (UNICEF) has charged the media to scale-up the reportage of School Based Management Committee (SBMC) as an impetus to the attainment of access to education by children in the Northern part of Nigeria, especially the girls.
This was the main thrust of a UNICEF media dialogue attended by journalists drawn from various media organizations across the country held in Kano between Tuesday and Wednesday on SBMC covering Sokoto, Niger, Zamfara, Katsina, Kano and Kebbi states.
UNICEF Communication Specialist, Dr Geoffrey Njoku admonished the journalists to show interest in the issues around education, particularly the SBMC as it affects the Girls Education Project (GEP3).
He urged the journalist to do quality stories that would prompt government at all levels to take necessary actions in ensuring that conducive learning environment and incentive are provided to attract and retain girls in schools to learn, become educated and successful in life.
He explained that with supports from the United Kingdom's Department for International Development (UK-DFID), UNICEF is promoting the drive to ensure that girls in the six states are enrolled and retained in schools.
The Director, Social Mobilization, Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), Alhaji Bello Kagara said SBMC would enhance access to education for children in Nigeria and also promote equity and transparency in running the affairs of the schools and the education sector in the affected states.
UNICEF Education Specialist in Kano, Muntaka Muktar and the Project Coordinator of UNICEF GEP3 in Kano state, Richard Sheyin Akanet in their separate presentations highlighted the activities of SBMC, the challenges and new strategies going forward.
The UNICEF Output Consultant on GEP3, Muhammad Bello said the project has recorded huge success and that the expected target to enroll 1 million girls in schools before 2020 has been achieved to a great extent.
He said the capacity of SBMC was strengthened and that the result manifests in the increased school enrollment, improved performance of teachers in imparting knowledge to children among other indicators.
The Director of Social Mobilisation, State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Zamfara state Alhaji Yusuf Abubakar said SBMC comprised of key stakeholders in the communities including those that do not have children in the affected schools.
He noted that SBMC is different from the Parent,Teachers Association (PTA), saying that it is a mechanism which attracts the trusted key members of the communities to volunteer themselves to assist in the management of schools and the education system in the states.
A Communication Consultant Wilfred Ewaleifoh urged newsmen to step up their game by improving in researching and scrutinising issues and make their stories compelling.
Ewaleifoh who retired as General Manager from the Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) appealed to newsmen to break barriers and do interesting stories that would bring positive change in the lives of the people, especially on girls education in the North.