In commemoration of the Day of the African Child, UNICEF has called on the Nigerian government and stakeholders to embrace the opportunities presented by digitization in the learning and development of Nigerian children. The theme for this year’s celebration is “The Rights of the Child in the digital environment.” UNICEF representative in Nigeria, Cristian Munduate, emphasized the importance of digital inclusiveness and the right of every child to participate in the digital space.

Munduate highlighted the potential of digital learning platforms in improving access to quality education for children in Nigeria. She mentioned the Nigeria Learning Passport, which has provided over 280,000 learners, teachers, parents, and young people with access to quality teaching and learning resources. By leveraging the digital space, the education sector can overcome challenges such as limited infrastructure, qualified teachers, poverty levels, and social norms that hinder education, particularly for girls.

The disruptive impact of school attacks and abductions on education cannot be ignored. These incidents have instilled fear in parents and led to a significant number of children missing out on valuable learning opportunities. Alarmingly, around 10 million children are currently not enrolled in primary school in Nigeria. Even for those attending school, the quality of education is a concern, with 75 percent of primary school-age pupils struggling with reading comprehension and basic math skills.

To address these challenges, UNICEF and the Federal Ministry of Education introduced the Nigeria Learning Passport (NLP) last year. Powered by Microsoft, the NLP is an online, mobile, and offline digital learning platform that provides continuous access to 15,000 curriculum-aligned learning materials in local languages. It offers flexibility and adaptability, enabling states, schools, teachers, parents, and other users to easily integrate it into their learning management systems, homework support, and emergency learning initiatives during school closures.

By embracing digital learning and investing in educational resources, Nigeria can bridge the gap in access to quality education and empower its children for a brighter future.