Monday, March 28, 2011

Conflict robbing Million of African Children of future

UNESCO-NATCOM boost Gambia National Library 
Today, conflict is robbing 28 million children of a future. These children are deprived of proper houses, adequate sanitation and most importantly education, the Vice Chairperson National Commission for UNESCO Dr. Fatoumatta Sisay-Joof has said.
Dr. Sisay-Joof was speaking at the launch of the “Education for All Global Monitoring Report 2011” at the Laico Atlantic Hotel in Banjul on March 24. The event was organised by the National Commission for UNESCO-NATCOM.

The Report, funded by UNESCO-BREDA, highlighted the challenges faced by countries that cannot attain the Education for All (EFA) Goals 2015. It also gives adequate data and projections on what to expect if solutions are not found quickly, while exposing how the world is faring with regards to the achievement of the six EFA goals by 2015.
In her opening statement, Dr. Sisay-Joof said some of these children are exposed to horrible violence, rape and other sexual violence, diseases, famine, and worst still, they either have their limbs mutilated or be forcefully enlisted as child solders.
This year, the United Nations Education Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) choose the theme “Hidden Crises: Armed Conflict and Education”. And Dr. Sisay-Joof said a study has revealed that many countries would not attain the six EFA goals by a wide margin and the most affected are those involved in conflicts.
The Secretary General, National Commission for UNESCO-NATCOM Sukai Bojang said the Director General of UNESCO observed that armed conflict is preventing the world from ensuring that education is a basic human right for all and over 40 percent of school children live in conflict countries.
“Sexual terror is used as a weapon of war in conflict areas against girls and women despite the efforts of governments in conflict to push their education agenda, aid donors have not been supportive and only 2 percent of humanitarian aid goes to the education sector,” she said.
She said early childhood welfare, mortality rates among under five year old children have fallen from 12.5 million in 1990 to 8.8 million in 2008, but an additional rate of 52 million children were enrolled in schools within the same period.

UNESCO-NATCOM boost Gambia National Library       
In its drive to make learning, research and information accessible to the people, the National Commission for UNESCO-NATCOM has donated technological materials valued at D230, 000 to the Gambia National Library on March 25, 2011.
The materials, which include four computers, heavy duty copier, A3 color printer, 6 UPS voltage stabilizer, external hard drives, digital camera and a flatbed scanner were presented to the Gambia National Library in Banjul.
UNESCO’s policy in education and culture has stressed the need to support libraries and help provide the adequate environment for learning and research, the Vice Chairperson, the National Commission for UNESCO-NATCOM Dr. Fatoumatta Sisay-Joof said.
According to her, it is clearly stated in the United Nations Education Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) Public Library Manifesto that “the public library, the local gateway to knowledge, provides a basic condition for lifelong learning, independent decision-making and cultural development of the individual and social groups”.
She said at the level of UNESCO, libraries are one major partner and that is why they have several manifestos related to libraries. She said they are aware of the new technological challenges the library services faces, but these challenges are equally opportunities.
UNESCO has been in the forefront in helping libraries not only the Gambia National Library but other libraries in the Gambia, the Director General of the Gambia National Library Services Authority Abdou Wally Mbye noted.
Mr. Mbye hailed UNESCO for being the only organization that comes up with packages to the Gambia National Library with soft keeping that will make documentation very easy and available to everybody.
UNESCO introduced the computerization of the National Library in 1992, and Mr. Mbye said it did not stop at that but instituted a policy of replacing equipments and made assistance to partners.
He said they have documents that are threatening to deteriorate but the arrival of the new material will help in improving the condition of such documents. Source - The Voice

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