To ensure that airwaves are accessible to children, the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, in collaboration with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), has harped on the need for broadcast organisations to give quality attention to children’s programmes.
This is coming as 18 million of the country’s children aged between five and 14 years are not in school.
The organisations said this in a statement ahead of the 2023 International Children’s Day of Broadcasting (ICDB) and with the theme ‘More money for primary education.’
The statement jointly issued by the Director/Head Advocacy (CRIB) of the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, Mercy Megwa, and UNICEF communications specialist Dr. Geoffrey Njoku also said children should be allowed to participate in the programming process.
According to the statement, despite primary education being officially free and compulsory in Nigeria, 18 million children aged between five and 14 years are not in school.
“In Nigeria, primary education is officially free and compulsory, but 18 million children aged between five and 14 years are not in school.”
Only 61 per cent of six-year-old children regularly attend primary school.
The statement also said adequate funding of primary education would create an enabling environment for increased demand for qualitative education, which is the bedrock of enhanced knowledge, improved behaviour, and children’s personal growth.
“We, therefore, enjoin broadcasters to open airwaves to the children for this year’s celebration and throughout the year and also to produce documentaries that highlight the plight of children in Nigeria.”
UNICEF created the International Children’s Day of Broadcasting (ICDB) in 1991. It is celebrated on the first Sunday in March of every year.