July 23, 2024
Vunoklang, Hayin Gada, Off Mubi Road, jimeta - Yola, Adamawa State, Nigeria
All Education News

UNICEF commemorate first-ever International Day of Play to improve school enrollment, enhance learning.



By: Aisha Mohammed



Play, has been observed to help children develop cognitive, social and emotional skills that form the foundation for future academic success.

The United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF estimated that 160 million children around the world are working instead of playing or learning, yet, they still find their way back to hope, health and happiness through play.


In view of these, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution, designating June 11 2024 as the first-ever International Day of Play.


In Northern Nigeria, it is widely believed that playing with children, makes them disrespect elders in the Society.


However, The United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF affirms that engaging Nigerian children in preschool play-based activities, have been proven to enhance their creativity, problem-solving abilities and communication skills.

Explaining the importance of celebrating the Day, UNICEF’s Education Consultant in Adamawa State, Joel Jutum said aside from creating a unified moment at global, national and local levels to elevate the importance of play as central to children’s learning and well-being, the day also aims at ensuring time to play, space to play and support for quality play is prioritized.

“We hope to celebrate the International Day of Play in the future in a bigger way but for this year we are starting with the training of parents and pre primary school teachers on positive parenting “, he said.

A community leader in Fufore Local Government Area of Adamawa State, Mohammed Jijiwa, a father of two and a teacher, Abiodun Odunlami as well as a mother of eight, Cecilia John acknowledged that before the adoption of the International Day of Play, they have been strict with their children making it difficult for the children to relate freely with them.

They therefore expressed delight over the introduction of the Play day, and revealed that it has enhanced Free interaction among them and their children.

“It will foster unity between the children and the parents,” Jijiwa said.

“even I as a father too must have time with my children to play”, said Odunlami.

“They are happy with me to the extend that they come to me and ask questions on what ever they don’t understand,” Cecilia added.


In an interview with Radio Nigeria, Fombina News, UNICEF Education Specialist, Bauchi Field Office, Abdulrahman Ibrahim said through play, children make connections with others, build leadership skills, develop resilience, navigate challenges and conquer their fears.

Abdulrahman further explained that the international awareness day signals a call for policies, training and funding to get play integrated into education and community settings worldwide.

“is for us to make sure that the learning is taking place, whether in schools or at home and for a child development is not only the responsibility of teachers but also the responsibility of the parents”, Abdulrahman said.


The UNICEF Education Specialist added that the introduction of the International Day of Play will go a long way in reducing the rate of social vices and the level of out of school children in the country.

The adoption of a UN resolution for a day centered around play, takes children’s right one step further, to raise awareness on the importance of play to every child’s development and well-being.

As the popular saying goes, ‘All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.’

Hence, there is no need to wait until 11 June, every day should be an opportunity for playful moments.



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