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News note

Kenya convenes experts and advocates on child-friendly schools

NAIROBI/ KENYA,  4 May 2009 – UNICEF, government officials and partners from several African nations today kicked off a three-day meeting to discuss how schools throughout the region can be transfomed into spaces that are more child-friendly and more attentive to the rights of all children.

The children’s agency and its partners have developed a Child-Friendly Schools model based on simple, rights-based concepts that would have all schools be: 

  • Safe, healthy and protective;
  • Staffed by trained teachers;
  • Provided adequate resources and the appropriate physical, emotional and social conditions for children to learn, develop their talents and reach their potential.

“It is critical not only that all children are in school but that, when there, they receive a quality education in a sound and supportive environment,” said Dr Cream Wright, Global Chief of Education for UNICEF.  “The Child-Friendly Schools initiative holds the promise that education will be a rich and joyful experience for all the children of Africa."

Globally, there were still 101 million children not attending primary school in 2007, the majority of them girls. Almost half of them - 45.5 million - live in sub-Saharan Africa.

Present at the meeting will be more than 60 UNICEF Country Representatives, government officials and partners from Angola, Burundi, Botswana, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Somalia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe

The Child Friendly School Manual, developed over the past three and a half years in workshops around the world, for decision-makers, planners and education practitioners will be introduced for the first time in Eastern and Southern Africa region, during the workshop. 

UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence.  The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS.  UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.

For further information and to arrange interviews, please contact:

Kun Li, UNICEF Nairobi, +254 20 762 2218   kli@unicef.org




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