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    Wednesday, July 31, 2019

    Access Bank Tackles Insurgency, Lifts Education in North

    Access Bank Plc has partnered with the United Nations Children Education Fund (UNICEF) and Fifth Chukker,  to promote the educational sector through improved funding. The bank has also partnered with the North to tackle insurgency.
    The bank and the other institutions are supporting child development and strategic community support using the Charity Shield Polo tournament. The purpose is to rebuild and strengthen the educational system with the hope of increasing access to formal education and reducing child delinquency.
    Through this initiative, Access Bank has raised funds to invest in schools, fixed existing ones by providing facilities and teaching materials, and by building new schools in several rural communities.
    Speaking on the development, Access Bank Executive Director, Retail Banking, Victor Etuokwu, said, “In Kaduna, we are facilitating the building of a new school which will have 60 classroom blocks and accommodate over 1,200 children. Once this is completed, we intend to expand our impact to other states and consequently other regions.
    “We are happy that we are not working alone, as we have the full support of UNICEF and Fifth Chukker and hope other banks can join us in our crusade”.

    He said the Boko Haram insurgency has been a point of concern for both Nigerians and the global community. It has cost more than 4,000 lives, Bank still hopes to revitalize the educational system in the locations of focus, and provide Nigerian children with a chance for a better tomorrow.
    According to the Polo & Equestrian General Manager, Fifth Chukker, Barbara Zingg, the 2019 event also featured a special Children’s Day programs which included riding lessons for 200 children, 150 of which will be underprivileged children selected by UNICEF. She also disclosed that cuisines from countries across West Africa, East Africa and Mexico were introduced as part of a cultural exchange program.
    Over the years, through various schemes and projects, the bank continues to showcase its commitment to being more than banking. The  Group Head, Corporate Communications, Access Bank Plc, Amaechi Okobi, who spoke on the essence of the polo charity event, said, “So, as often as we can, through the support of organisations like UNICEF, Fifth Chukker and the media, we will continue to let Nigeria and the world know that Nigerian children and their education will not be ignored”.
    Also, there are signs of hope for the future, and Access Bank is leading the way. With such an impressive record in giving back to communities, a stronger and sustainable foundation is currently being laid for the future; the Nigerian dream. Therefore, it is important that everyone, as individuals and corporate institutions, begin to raise our voices and drive the action in supporting the growth of the Nigerian child.
    By 2018, the number of out-of-school children in Nigeria rose from 10.5 million to 13.2 million. Although primary education is officially free and compulsory in many states, 61 percent of 6 to 11-year-olds regularly attend primary school with only 35.6 percent of children aged 36-59 months receiving early childhood education. Interestingly, the picture is bleaker in Northern Nigeria, with a net attendance rate of 53 per cent.
    According to the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund, only 45 per cent of girls in the North are enrolled in schools, while the North-East and the North-West states had a female primary attendance ratio of 44 percent and 47 per cent. The agency explained that the issue can be traced to poverty, early marriage and cultural beliefs, and further compounded by uncommitted teachers, poor learning environment, leading the country to account for more than one in five out-of-school children globally.
    This year, the Federal Government reported that following various interventions by state government and their partners, the number reduced from 13.2 million to 10.2 million. The number remains mind-boggling, but there is hope. While the population continues to increase through rising birth rate, parents are not financially supported, and children are sent out into the streets and left exposed to abuse, slavery and recruitment for anti-social activities.
    other direction and paint them a picture of different possibilities. However, the first step to achieving this is strengthening the education system and getting as many children as possible off the streets and into the classrooms.
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