Jul 19, 2013, 10:25 AM
The President of Young People in the Media (YPM), Eric Samuel Ketter, has said the African children’s charter recognized a right to education for all children, and calls upon state parties to ensure the fulfillment of this right.
Mr Ketter was speaking at a press briefing to observe International Day of the African Child 2014 with theme: “A child friendly, quality and compulsory education for all children in Africa”.
The press briefing held at UN House at Cape point in Bakau was organized by UNICEF, ChildFund The Gambia and other partners.
Education is a tool for empowering children in Africa to enable them achieve their maximum potentials, and to enhance their capacity to benefit from other entitlements that promote their well-being.
Universal and quality education is a global concern reflected in numerous global agreements and investment plans, Ketter said.
Despite this acknowledgement of the importance of education and the considerable investment into education by African states and partners, scores of children are still unable to access or benefit from education in a meaningful way, he added.
He pointed out that during its 21st session, the committee of experts deliberated upon and adopted the theme: “A child friendly, quality, free and compulsory education for all children in Africa” as the DAC theme for 2014.
Significantly, the theme of the 2014 DAC was drawn from consultations with the children in the region, which were conducted with the help of partners of the committee.
Thus whereas there are other equally competing aspects of children’s rights that could be considered as theme for DC 2014, a focus on education is underscored by the expressed wishes of children in Africa, he said.
Ketter said Young People in the Media is a children-led umbrella organization that seeks to empower young people within the framework of a participatory platform, for children and young people in advocating on child protection, and child rights.
Also, the promotion of an agenda, which addresses inequalities among children and young people, promote and protect the rights of the child, the African charter on the rights and welfare of the child and create strong links between sectors and organizations.
He said the organization was formed in early 2006, and formally launched by the Minister for Information Technology and Communication and presided over by the Vice President, Isatou Njie Saidy, as part of activities making the International Children’s Day of Broadcasting on 9th December 2006 on the theme: “Unite for Children Unite against Aids”.
The content of the poetry slam would focus on this year’s DAC as a medium to communicate and advocate on the situational context of quality, free and compulsory education for all children in The Gambia and Africa, in general.
Also, to highlight the challenges in ensuring that education is not only compulsory and free, but child-friendly. As well as emphasize the importance of a child-friendly approach to fulfilling the right to education for particular groups of children, such as children with disabilities and other vulnerable children.
He said in the end they intend to come up with recommendations for a holistic and integrated approach to fulfilling the right to a child-friendly, free and compulsory education for children in Africa.