Parents have been called upon to give priority to the education of the girl child to enable them reach their full potentials.
Former special adviser, Media and Publicity to late Governor Ibrahim Yakowa of Kaduna State, Mr Reuben Buhari made the call while delivering a lecture at a seminar on “Girl Child Education and Its Role in the Socio Economic development of the country” organised by the Kaduna State chapter of the Nigerian Association of Women Journalists yesterday in Kaduna.
He said the girl-child must be sensitised early in life, on their potentials as girls and what the future holds for them.
“As a way to encourage her to develop skills and let her know some gender barriers she might face and how to overcome them.
“They also need to know that their profession does not stop in the kitchen just because they are girls but that she has a bright future and as a girl she can also achieve her dreams,” he said.
According to him, 5.5 million school age girls are out of school as survey has shown.
He said that education of the girl-child gives them a lot of independence, increases political participation and literacy level of the country and reduce human trafficking which affects mostly young girls.
“The sustainability and progress of all regions depend on the success of women across the globe. As President Barack Obama said while addressing the United Nations General Assembly in 2012, ‘The future must not belong to those who bully women. It must be shaped by girls who go to school and those who stand for a world where our daughters can live their dreams just like our sons’.”
He listed culture, poverty, religion, terrorism, insurgency as key factors hindering northern girls from attending schools. He added that a girl who completes primary school is three times less likely to contract HIV/AIDS.
“Education also empowers a woman’s wallet through boosting her earning capabilities. According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural OrganiSation, also known as UNESCO, a single year of primary education has shown to increase a girl’s wages later in life by 20 per cent.
“When women are provided with equal rights and equal access to education, they go on to participate in business and economic activity. Increased earning power and income combat against current and future poverty through feeding, clothing and providing for entire families,” he said.
The commissioner for Commerce, Industry and Tourism, Ruth Alkali said that parents should endeavour to send their female children to school as well as support them in their career choices as a way of securing their future and building them into responsible and productive adults that will contribute to the overall development of the state and country.
“I am always filled with joy when I see women come together to discuss issues of development that would enhance the lives of the girl-child with the aim of helping them develop, so that they can contribute to the socio-economic development of the girl-child and humanity in general.
“The significance of this seminar cannot be overemphasized and the theme is apt. We all know that an educated mother stands a better chance of bringing up healthy and responsible children, as well as managing the home,” she said.
She said the state government is committed to providing children with quality education as demonstrated by the recent training and retraining of teachers and recruitment of additional qualified teachers in public schools, so that children can get sound education they need to develop themselves as leaders of tomorrow.
In her remarks, the chairperson, Fatima Aliyu said the girl child is endowed with enormous potentials and huge sense of responsibility judging by her disposition as someone who eventually will raise a family that will contribute immensely to the well-being of the society at large.
“It is said that when you educate a woman you educate a nation, because education serve as a tool to develop any human endeavor,” she added.
She urged governments at all levels to take measures to provide all citizens with at least primary education.