Community tasks government on girl-child education
An appeal has been made to governments and stakeholders to give the girl-child a voice, opportunities and empowerment towards building all-inclusive capacities.
Community leader in Ilaje area of Lagos State, Adodo Sule, who made the call at a meeting, said the girl child is special gift from God and deserves all the love and attention like male children.
He said: “We want the government to provide schools, hospitals and clean water for the teeming population. The lack of amenities affects the residents’ productivity and life span.”
He lamented total absence of government’s presence in the locality, saying, “A lot of our loved ones have died untimely death before reaching the hospitals that are far from this environment. Our children need primary schools and good water to drink as well.”
However, Sule acknowledged the efforts of Educating Nigerian Girls in New Enterprises (ENGINE) in handling the educational and vocational skills for marginalized girls in rural communities in the past few years.
Speaking, Director, Lagos State Mass Education Agency, Mrs Oluwakemi Kalesanwo disclosed that the State is concerned about the mass education of its inhabitants.
Kalesanwo added that the mass education, literacy and vocational centres of different levels are aimed at empowering the people and make them self reliant to contribute to their immediate environment and national development. She encouraged girls and women to utilize comprehensive adult education learning centres across local government areas with trained facilitators.
The mass education advocate hinted that the centres are opened to all everyone regardless of status and background. She urged the stakeholders, religious and community leaders to play a vital role in educating the populace and change the mind set of youths in communities to be passionate about the education of girl child.
She disclosed that the agency will continue to organize programmes aimed at educating, enlightening and empowering residents and less advantaged persons to live a better lifestyle.
Speaking at the occasion, Mercy Corps Senior project officer, Adeyinka Onabolu disclosed that ENGINE is driving educational, economic and life opportunities for young women in Nigeria, saying the foundation has been existing for several years.
She disclosed that ENGINE has worked with over 18,000 marginalized girls since 2003.
In total, 4,654 school girls have achieved increased learning outcomes and 14,030 out-of –school girls have received economic opportunities to build safe and secure future.
“We also support and partner with other agencies and NGOs to handle issues that affect them ranging from domestic violence, child abuse, maltreatment or sexual abuses among other challenges,” she stated.