By Omar Bah
Unicef Gambia country office Tuesday launches the Unicef’s flagship The State of the World’s Children Report, 2017 at Kairaba Beach Hotel.
The State of the World’s Children is an annual report that provides comprehensive analysis of Unicef’s work with partners in ensuring sustainable results for children in the areas of rights, equality, survival, development, protection and participation.
Speaking at the official launching, Vice President and Minister of Women’s Affairs, Fatoumatta Jallow-Tambajang, reaffirmed government’s continued commitment towards protecting and promoting the rights of all children in The Gambia including access to digital technology.
“It is important that the school and the education system introduce technology for children at school,” she said.
“We are throwing again that challenge to you, Unicef and other member agencies to provide every child, like in Kenya and in South Africa and in developed world, every child a laptop,” she said.
According to her, access to Internet connectivity has become a game changer for marginalised children while pointing out that helping them to fulfil their potentials would be a landmark in the development process.
In her official launching remarks, First Lady Fatoumatta Bah-Barrow, extolled Unicef’s continuous support to children’s education, health, nutrition and protection in The Gambia.
She said there was no doubt that Unicef will continue the crusade. “As the world moves towards a digital era, children naturally become part of this technological shift, hence, the theme of the 2017 report is Children’s in a Digital World,” she noted.
She said in The Gambia and many other parts of the world, digital technology is dominating “our lives through the use of mobile phones, Internet banking among others.”
Meanwhile, the Minister of Information and Communication Infrastructure, Demba Jawo said in the last few years, government and educators have recognised the exceptional promises of ICT to foster teaching and learning in schools even at primary level.
The government of The Gambia, he said, has made huge strides in its efforts to providing nationwide accessibility to reliable and affordable Internet. The Unicef representative in The Gambia, Sandra Lattouf spoke at length on the significance of The State of the World’s Children report. She said: “We need to make sure that digital technology is accessible to children and also to make sure that they are protected from internet problem related issues.”