Children’s Day: Foundation drums support for girl child education

Global Privilege Foundation, a humanitarian NGO promoting community development and female empowerment, on Saturday called for improved girl-child education in Nigeria.

Mrs. Anosong Bookish, President of the foundation, made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on the sidelines of a road walk.

NAN reports that children rights advocates and other stakeholders gathered at the Old Parade Ground in Abuja in solidarity of the girl child.

The high point of the programme tagged “Walk for the Girl Child Education’’, was a street walk by volunteered students, celebrities and other stakeholders along some major roads in the FCT.

Bookish said that the initiative was part of the foundation’s activities to mark the 2018 National Children Day.

According to her, although some level of successes have been achieved in recent times on the girl child education, a lot still need to be done to secure the collective future of Nigerian children.

“We are saying that every child should be given the opportunity to be educated irrespective of the gender of the child as both sexes can bring equal contributions to the society.

“The education of the girl child cannot be over emphasised because an adage says if you educate a boy, you educate one person; if you educate a girl, you educate a family and a nation.”

“An educated girl today is an empowered mother with potentials and knowledge which she passes down to her children and the society,’’ she said.

Bookish noted that many parents due to economic challenges were always quick to send male children to school at the inconvenience of their female counterparts.

She added that it was high time parents realised that female children can attain their potentials and contribute meaningfully to the society, given the same opportunities and support.

“We are saying don’t be too quick to make decision against the girl child that will relegate her to the background.

“For example, if a family is facing financial challenges, in most cases, the option will be for the girl child to stay at home for her male counterpart to go to school.

“When you see out-of-school young girls on the streets, they will tell you that their family was having financial challenges, and only their brothers had to go to school,’’ she said.”

Bookish explained further that the trend was prevalent in rural communities; therefore the foundation was also making efforts to reach such areas with the girl child education message.

She however noted that prevalent insecurity across Nigeria in recent times was a threat to education especially in the rural areas.

She called on government at all levels to take proactive steps towards curbing cases of kidnapping of school children and other wiles.

“We have held and will still hold town hall meetings to enlighten parents in our rural areas because illiteracy and cultural ties have strongholds in the rural areas.

“Government should also take the issue of security very serious, because no mother in her right sense would want to send her child out when she is not sure of her safety," she added.

NAN reports child and women rights advocates, artistes and other humanitarian bodies, including members of Emmanuel Eyaba Foundation, were present at the rally.

Mr. Emma Eyaba, a Nollywood filmmaker and Secretary of the Directors Guild of Nigeria (DGN), called on Nigerians of goodwill and philanthropists to support the education of less privileged girl child.

“If we take decisive steps to offer youths, and the girl child, particularly the less privileged, then our future as a people will be secured,’’ he said. (NAN)

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