Towards educating the girl-child for better tomorrow

The need for girl-child education has for long been a subject of discussion among stakeholders in the education sector, especially in thecountry’s northern states. In this report Austin Ajayi in Yola writes on what the Adamawa state government is doing to give the girl-child a memorable future

According to a Chinese proverb, education is the best legacy to give to a child because “giving your child a skill is better than giving him one thousand pieces of gold.”

This apparently explains the reason why on assumption of office in 2019, Governor Umar Finitiri of Adamawa state, declared maximum support for the development of child education especially girl-child education.

Despite evidence demonstrating how central girls’ education is to development, gender disparities in education persist.

According to an United Nations Children’sFund (UNICEF), report, 132 million girls are out of school, around the world, including34.3 million of primary school age, 30 million of lower-secondary school age,and 67.4 million of upper-secondary school age.

In countries affected by conflict, girls are more than twice as likely to be out of school as girls living in non-affected countries.

Against the back drop of this bleak report, the Adamawa state government with the support from UNICEF organized a one-day Consultative/flag off Meeting for the establishment of Girl-for-Girl (G4G) groups in 275 selected schools in Fufore, Guyuk and Hong Local Government Areas of the state.

The project been funded by the German Government Development Bank KFW, is geared towards enlightening stakeholders on the concept of G4G and inclusion of life skills in schools.

The consultative meeting whose theme is “Resilience Integrated Education Programming for Children in Northeast Nigeria” seeks to present G4G strategy, activities and provide visibility for the implementation of G4G in the state.

Mairama Bukar Dikwa,Education Specialist UNICEF Bauchi Field Office while speaking at the flag-off,said G4G is a UNICEF project that plans to create equal access, opportunity for girls to access education.

According to her,”the initiative will address the problem of girl child education;encourage them on the need to be educated for a better tomorrow” she said..

“G4G seeks to ensure girls are enrolled and remain in school to complete their education so that they could have a better future, and be role models for other girls in their community.

“Its goal is to empower girls with knowledge and skills to help them stand on their own and prepare them to take leadership roles.”

The education specialist also spoke on the need to promote positive masculinity – boys to be motivated to support girls’education.

“We want boys to be passionate about girls’ issues; we will train and encourage them to be advocate of girl-child education,” she stressed.

Bukar pointed out that UNICEF has the largest investment in children education, and is committed to partnering with the Adamawa state government.

She, however, urged the state government to invest more in basic education, implement the school resilient programme and also allocate specific funds for systematic monitoring and reporting of schools.

Wilbina Jackson,Commissioner for Education and Human Capital Development commended KFW and UNICEF for the intervention saying, it is timely and comes at a time when the state is doubling effort in ensuring better and quality education for all children.

Jackson reiterated the commitment of the Fintiri led-administration towards education.

She maintained that girl education is important in every society and pledge that the state will be committed to the G4G project and ensure girls are empowered with knowledge and skills so that they could become beneficial to their community and the larger society.

The consultative/ flag off meeting for the establishment of G4G project in 275 selected schools in Fufore, Guyuk and Hong local government areas, is a follow-up of the165 classrooms to be renovated and constructed in 40 schools in two local government areas.

Stakeholders from Adamawa state House of Assembly, Ministries of Education and Women Affairs,ADSUBEB, local government chairmen, Nigerian Army, ADCAR, HiLWA,HARAF,WREP as well as other NGOs and CSOs partners commended UNICEF and KFW for the organizing the programme.

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