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UNICEF's film highlights challenges in providing quality education for all in Niger

Niamey, Niger, 11 June 2009 – The Nigerien Government and UNICEF have produced a film focusing on the challenges and success of the interventions carried out in the country to increase the number of children in primary school as well as the quality of teaching.

 Watch "Niger: all children in school"

Entitled "Niger, all children in school", and filmed in the region of Maradi, in South-Eastern Niger - a region where school enrolment rates are among the lowest in the country - this 15 minute-long film highlights the "child and girl-friendly schools" concept, a model already implemented in several countries in the world that promotes the education of all children and supports the fight against school dropout.

In Niger, children’s education is a national challenge, for one child in three does not go to school. For girls, the situation is an even bigger concern: only one in two girls goes to primary school, one in ten to secondary school and one in fifty to high school.

With these challenges in mind, the Ministry of Education and UNICEF have placed the improvement of the school environment and of quality teaching at the heart of their strategy for the education of all children. They placed the “child and girl-friendly school” approach at the center of the realization of children’s rights within the school.

The film "Niger, all children in school" introduces this approach which aims at providing quality teaching and guarantees maximum development for each child as well as the respect of children’s rights.

To date, more than 600 primary schools in Niger have committed to becoming child and girl-friendly schools and to fight against school dropout, promoting education for all. These schools are based on simple ideas, such as the improvement of school equipment and teaching, the diversification of teaching tools or the promotion of a participatory approach, which enables everyone, children, parents, teachers and local decision makers to exchange and build, together, quality schools. Today, important progress has been made in terms of education.

"Child and girl-friendly schools try to create a supportive environment so that quality basic education can take place. A child and girl-friendly school therefore looks at the needs and the rights of all children in the school. It is also specifically sensitive and takes into account the situation of the girl child", says Akhil Iyer, UNICEF Representative in Niger, as interviewed in the film.

Through the child and girl-friendly school approach, communities, particularly parents, are directly involved in the school activities. Organized in management committees, commonly known as "COGES", they play a significant role in improving the school environment. They take a look and contribute to the progress made by their children, at an individual as well as collective level.

"My role is to make sure that all girls go to school", says Rahamou Lawali, a member of a mother education group in Maradi, also interviewed in the film. "Girls no longer want to stay at home. They all want to go to school."

Produced in collaboration with the national television, Télé Sahel, the national television, the film will be broadcasted on this station in June 2009.

For more information, please contact:
Anne Boher
Tel.: +227 20 72 28 40. Ext 406



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