Femi Adi, Kaduna
As part of its contribution in developing the “girl child” in Nigeria, the United Nations Children’s Fund UNICEF in collaboration with the Sultan Foundation for Peace and Development on Saturday in Kaduna organised a partnership meeting with the education representatives of the 19 Northern states of Nigeria to promote girl-child education and eradicate the almajiri menace.
Declaring the meeting open at Bafra Hotel today, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar the 3rd who chaired the occasion stressed the need for northern governors to prioritise the girl child within the region.
The Sultan also noted that UNICEF and Sultan Foundation for Peace and Development underscores the importance of educating the girls and to remove the perceptions that the place of the girl child is in the kitchen or the home.
While urging the governors of 19 northern states to work out a deliberate plan to promote girl-child education in the region, he said “ We must make it a priority to educate our female children”.
He stated further, “We believe an educated girl is better in bringing up better family and citizenry to the world because we all know the importance of our mothers.
“They trained and brought us up, if you check the lifestyle of an individual if it is good, check the family background; and if bad, check the family background. The women play that important role of bringing up the society.”
He described as unfortunate the situation where leaders of the northern extraction don’t pay much attention to girl child education. Adding , “As we all know, an educated woman is more of an asset than uneducated one or even educated man, you must be knowledgeable to lead. To rule you must be knowledgeable.
“The girl child education has become very important, especially now that the world is facing social problems, and Nigeria is part of that global village”.
In her remark, Jean Gough, UNICEF Nigeria, Country Representative, noted that, education is the cornerstone of everything, and without education, there cannot be reduction in poverty in any country.
According to her, education is the hardest sector to transform, children in the northeast have lost two years of education.
He stressed, “We know Nigeria is working to achieving the goal of President Muhammadu Buhari in transforming the education sector. We hope this year 2016 will be a year of true change.
“Change can only happen when leaders in Nigeria are in partnership with all second of education and when proper action is taken.”