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Norwegian PM visits Nithora village school in Ghaziabad

Jan 09, 2019

Norway has supported UNICEF at the global level through its continued commitment to help reach the most vulnerable children.

Ghaziabad: The Prime Minister of Norway, Erna Solberg visited Primary and Upper Primary schools in village Nithora, Ghaziabad district, 35 km away from Delhi, today. Solberg, accompanied by Dr. Yasmin Ali Haque, UNICEF India Representative, congratulated the government, school authorities, and community members for making the school an inspirational model, providing quality education and facilities for handwashing, toilets and safe drinking water.

Interacting with children at the school, Solberg, said, “It is inspiring to meet the school girls and boys, teachers and parents in village Nithora. I view education as fundamental to sustainable development. Access to quality education is a universal human right and is the key to unlocking opportunities for all, so that everyone can enjoy a better life. India is making impressive strides in education, and I applaud the work that the local community and UNICEF are doing.”

She added, “We believe that the right to sanitation is an essential component of the standard of living. Sanitation and health are part of ensuring that girls are safe and they stay in school.”

Speaking on the occasion, Ritu Maheshwari District Magistrate, Ghaziabad, Government of Uttar Pradesh said, “Sanitation is not just about building toilets but about changing behaviours. We are proud that Ghaziabad district is Open Defecation Free and that almost 100 per cent of households have built toilets which are in regular use. We have started innovative practices such as solid and liquid waste management (SLWM) and transforming ‘garbage-yards’ into play-gardens and tree nurseries so that Ghaziabad continues to be Open Defecation Free.”

Prime Minister Solberg was shown a demonstration of the mobile app, Eeksha, used for supportive supervision in classrooms. The app is being used in over 1,60,000 schools across Uttar Pradesh for supporting quality education. She also met young boys and girls from the Meena Manch who highlight issues of girls’ attendance and enrolment in schools. The Meena Manch is a young peoples’ collective platform for empowerment of girls at the school level. Later the Prime Minister spoke with parents during a session on Life Skills Education (LSE) and met with young mothers and infants to understand how community health workers are saving newborn lives.

Focusing on the importance of keeping girls in school, UNICEF India Representative, Dr. Yasmin Ali Haque, said, “This school is a wonderful example of how communities and authorities can work together to ensure that every girl and boy is in school. Girls' education is one of the best investments that India can make for its people and its future. An educated girl tends to marry later and avoids early and risky childbearing. Also, the children she does have will be more likely to survive, better nourished and be better educated.”

Norway has supported UNICEF at the global level through its continued commitment to help reach the most vulnerable children. Its long-standing strategic, catalytic support to UNICEF globally, in areas of education, water, sanitation, hygiene and social inclusion has helped the organization to achieve results for children and young people.

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