Eastern Caribbean, UNICEF: Senior Foreign Service Officer Nancy Nicholas recently shared her views on learning about poverty within the Eastern Caribbean. Her remarks were made during the credentials presentation ceremony for the new UNICEF Representative to the Eastern Caribbean, Peter Bult.
Nicholas expressed her belief that learning poverty begins from early childhood education – a time when single parents, in particular, find it impossible to make the investment.
“You may come to know about a new case where a child who probably needs it the most cannot afford it, and that begins the cycle of learning poverty. It then perpetuates through primary school and then to secondary school. And if we do a careful analysis of the trajectory of the lives of those children, we will realize that the very same children who are unable to afford early childhood education are perhaps the same children who are dropping out.”
She highlighted that poor nutrition also affects the learning ability of young people and suggested that funding should be made accessible.
“My pitch today is a call to the collective conscience of all of us, especially UNICEF, to try to see how much we could strengthen that base, whether it be in providing the necessary financial support to countries to allow for a sort of social safety net for that group. So those countries where you have parents who can’t afford it, but there is funding, can begin the trend of eliminating learning poverty at the budding stage.”
The credentials presentation ceremony for the new UNICEF Representative to the Eastern Caribbean, Peter Bult, took place on August 18.