The Enugu State governor-elect, Dr. Peter Mbah, has pledged programmes and policies that would accelerate the growth and development of children in the state by enabling them to enjoy the benefits of childhood and nurture them into responsible, advantaged and happy children for themselves and the society.
The governor-elect who made this known in a statement signed by the head of Peter Mbah Media Office, Dan Nwomeh, celebrated children as a gift and blessing from God while stressing that his administration would fast track all the necessary programmes that would enable them discover and explore their maximum potentials.
Mbah, who further noted that the theme of this year’s celebration in the country, “The state of Nigerian children today: Proper parenting for value orientation and national consciousness”, was apt and in sync with his manifesto, called on all hands to be on deck in order to give children in the country, particularly in Enugu State, a better and brighter future where they can feel fulfilled, emotionally, psychologically, physically and physiologically.
He added that the state under his leadership would assume the position of a caring parent where basic education, vocational training and skills acquisition would be compulsory for every child in the state, saying that his Cut-off early child learning programme will expose Enugu children to quality education as well as vocational and mechanical skills.
While noting the urgent need to prioritize the needs of children in the state by investing in their welfare, education, and providing them with a friendly environment to thrive, Mbah vowed that he would tackle those impediments that are hindering them from enjoying their full rights as recognized by the 1959 United Nations Declaration of the Rights of the Child; 1989 United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Child’s Rights and Responsibility Law of Enugu State which became operative in 2016.
He listed those challenges to include poverty, lack of parental care, drug abuse, family problems, child trafficking, failed educational system, social and religious conflicts, gross violation of the rights of the child, amongst others, stressing that his programmes would aim to eradicate poverty, eliminate the issue of school drop-out, and make education not only attractive to children but also quality, free and compulsory for all.
The governor-elect further frowned at the soaring rate of child abuse among parents and guardians, child labour and disdain for the welfare of children, warning that his administration would not tolerate anything that would deliberately deprive children of the opportunity to enjoy their rights to education, recreation and vocation.
He said he would seize the opportunity provided by the child’s rights law of the state to partner with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and other international governmental and non-governmental organisations to raise healthy and happy children in the state that would appreciate societal values by being law-abiding and useful.
According to him, his plans to catch them young through programmes like artificial intelligence, virtual reality, augmented reality, smart education, technology and innovation are non-negotiable even as he expressed optimism that his well marshalled plan to infuse ICT in the early childhood education would groom children that could compete globally in the ever changing global system.
He equally assured children that his mission is to create a tomorrow where they would be proud of, saying they are the hope of a better future and the new world which his manifesto envisages.