UN youth envoy urges quality education for young people

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    The UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, Jayathma Wickramanayake, arrives Nigeria today on a three-day visit to strengthen calls for quality education for young people.

    “Education is the key to youth reaching their full potential, it is essential for economic growth, conflict prevention and sustainable development,” she said.

    “It is high time that we redouble our efforts so that every young person can enjoy his universal right to education—an education that is of good quality and free.”

    She was speaking at the opening of the Financing Conference of the Global Partnership for Education, jointly sponsored by the Senegalese president, Macky Sall and French president Emmanuel Macron.

    Her visit to Nigeria is part of a five-state tour through Africa. She will meet with the ministers of health, foreign affairs, youth and women affairs in efforts to secure high-level commitment to issues affecting young people.

    Nearly half the world’s population is under 25, but up to 250 million children and young people are deprived of education, she said.

    “We must not forget the millions of girls who drop out of school, because of child marriage or teenage pregnancies,” Wickramanayake noted.

    “Beyond traditional classroom interventions, investing in non-formal and informal learning is essential to developing skills that fit the world of tomorrow.”

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