The High Level Women Advocates (HILWA) working with the UNICEF to promote the Girl Child education in Niger has called for more female boarding schools across the state.
Hajiya Hassana Adamu, President of HILWA in the state, told News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Minna on the sideline of a five day sensitisation programme to mark the 2019 International Day of the Girl.
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NAN reports that this year’s celebration was tagged, “Free and Compulsory Quality Secondary Education for all Girls.”
Adamu said that the measure would encourage the rural people to send their female children to schools.
She said that many of the people were not able to send their girls to school owing to poverty, socio-cultural and religious beliefs.
“We call on the Niger state government to increase its budget in the education sector to enable it allocate enough funds to promote the girl child education.
“The funds will help purchase instructional material that will attract the girls to school, enable government build more boarding schools for the girls and fund free and compulsory education.
“These boarding schools will encourage the people to send their girl children to school against worrying for money and their old socio-cultural and religious beliefs of mixing with the male,” she said.
The HILWA president also advised the executive and legislative arms of government in the state to come up with strong legislation to promote girl child education.
Adamu said that about 144 primary and junior secondary school girls were drawn from six Local Government Areas of the state by UNICEF for the programme.
She said that UNICEF, State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), HILWA and other stakeholders had carried out advocacy visits on importance of the girl child education to the eight emirates in the state.
Alhaji Abubakar Aliyu, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education said that the state governor, Alhaji Abubakar Bello, was passionate about education, hence the free and compulsory primary education.
Earlier, Hajiya Mariam Usman, UNICEF Consultant in charge of Access Education in the state, said that this year’s celebration which started on Monday would end on Friday with a “one million girls march for free and compulsory basic and secondary education for all girls.”
Usman said that the march would create awareness which would ensure that the girl child acquire a minimum of secondary school certificate in life.
She said that part of the activities for this year are targeted at building self consciousness in the girls, empowering them with knowledge, exposure and skills that would make positive change in their lives.
The consultant also said that the activities would create opportunities for the girls to raise their voices for a “12 years uninterrupted schooling for girls through free and compulsory basic and secondary education for all girls including livelihood skills in secondary education.”
The International Day of the Girl is a day when diverse groups come together under the same goal to highlight, discuss and act to advance rights and opportunities for girls everywhere.