By Stephen Adeleye.
Kogi Government has solicited more collaboration and support from the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) in her bid to providing quality education in the state.
The state’s Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Mrs Rosemary Osikoya, made the call when the Chief of Field Office, UNICEF, Dr Ibrahim Conte, visited her office on Tuesday in Lokoja.
Osikoya said the state government needed more support from UNICEF in her efforts to move education sector in Kogi to enviable heights especially basic education.
She expressed delight over the visit saying it had opened an avenue for the Kogi Government’s to collaborate with UNICEF towards the development of education sector in the state.
She noted that some parts of the state had more educational advantages than the other, saying realities in the cities should not be used as yardstick by UNICEF to generalise the status of education in the entire state.
She commended the UNICEF for selecting Kogi as one of the five new states including Nassarawa, Imo, Edo and Ekiti, to receive support from UNICEF on education.
She thanked the UNICEF for providing ‘instruments’ for the conduct of 2019 Annual School Census (ASC), and support for education sector 2019 planning process.
Osikoya lauded the commitment of Gov. Yahaya Bello to education reform in the state and for increasing the state’s budgetary allocation for education, saying it was yielding good results.
The UNICEF Chief, Ibrahim Conte, said the visit was to seek areas of collaborations with the state government for the development of education sector in the state.
Conte noted that the UNICEF was responsible for the welfare of children particularly on immunisation and to encourage children of school age to get education in line with promises of government.
While commending the commissioner for bringing development to the education sector in Kogi, Conte s that UNICEF was ensuring that no state was left behind In the bids for Nigeria to achieve its SDGs.
He said that the UNICEF technical support to the state would help in developing a plan for its future educational goals, budget preparation, among others.