UNICEF launches global survey
June 16th was the Day of the African Child. With 121 million children classified as absentees from the classroom, UNICEF is trying to redress the problem, hampered as always by lack of funding, although there are hundreds of thousands of millions available for acts of butchery.
The focus will be on the children themselves, in the Child-to-Child Survey (CCS) in which schoolchildren will find and interview others who have dropped out of school, write a report and present it to their teachers.
These will then present the reports to the local authorities, who in turn will notify their governments.
Carol Bellamy, Executive-Director of UNICEF, considers that this is "a chain reaction, whereby the children and their teachers will not only identify those out of school but will also commit to getting them enrolled and helping them succeed". The aim is to persuade governments to target education as their main political priority.
The CCS programme has already begun in some African countries, where the immediate objective is to get 24 million absentee children back into the classroom by the end of this summer.