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UNICEF calls for media engagement in Nigeria Learning Passport initiative

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The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has arranged a productive one-day strategy meeting with representatives from the media.

The meeting took place in Enugu State and was organised by the Enugu State Universal Basic Education Board and the state ministry of education in collaboration with UNICEF.

Participants from Benue, Enugu, and Cross River States were present at the meeting, with the objective of promoting and increasing enrollment of young learners in uninterrupted and high-quality education.

According to Tribune Online, the meeting aimed to ensure access to uninterrupted and high-quality education throughout the country. To achieve this goal, the Nigeria Learning Passport (NLP) Programme is being encouraged in communities, schools, and local government areas, reaching all individuals living in challenging circumstances in Benue, Enugu, and Cross River States.

The Nigeria Learning Passport (NLP) is a digital learning platform developed by Microsoft, which can be accessed online, via mobile devices, or offline. It provides learners, teachers, and parents with access to 15,000 curriculum-aligned learning and training materials in local languages.

Launched in 2022 by UNICEF and the Federal Ministry of Education, the NLP was designed to bridge the access gap and provide quality learning opportunities for young learners in Nigeria.

During the meeting, Ijeoma Onuoha-Ogwe, the communication officer of UNICEF’s Enugu Field Office, urged journalists to utilize their platforms to promote increased enrollment in the digital space. She also called on the government to explore ways to ensure that all children have access to continuous education.

Onuoha-Ogwe stated, “The purpose of the meeting was to identify media networks in the targeted states of Enugu, Benue, and Cross Rivers, and familiarize them with the operational mode and potential of the NLP for educational advancement among young learners in the state. It was also intended to encourage journalists to prioritize and set an agenda for accelerated NLP uptake, foster collaboration with the government and relevant stakeholders, and hold them accountable for children’s development.”

She further urged the media to actively promote the NLP and its objectives, utilizing their platforms to achieve the enrollment targets set for the program in the three states.

Agatha Nzeribe, education specialist at UNICEF Field Office in Enugu, emphasized the importance of determining key initiatives to drive the adoption of the NLP nationwide.

She highlighted issues such as the lack of quality education in languages children understand, inadequate curriculum and learning materials, and limited professional development resources to support the provision of quality education. Nzeribe emphasized that the NLP represents a unique opportunity to transform education by addressing these challenges and fostering remediation, community and parental engagement, digital and remote learning, and other significant benefits.

Francis Dera, director of Education at Benue State E-Learning/Virtual Education ICT Makurdi, expressed the state’s commitment to the program and assured UNICEF of enrolling over 500,000 NLP users by the end of 2023.

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