Ekiti governor’s wife seeks monarchs’ support to get children back to school
Wife of Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Olayemi Oyebanji, has called for intervention and support of the state’s traditional rulers to get out-of-school children back to school.
She also urged the monarchs to help address the myths and practices among the people of the state, “which is decimating the lives of young girls and preventing them from having access to education for empowerment.
The governor’s wife, who made the appeal on Tuesday at a one-day advocacy and interactive session with traditional rulers in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, lamented that some young children are very distracted and may not be in school as and when due, saying that some children are truly challenged, maybe for lack of guidance, poverty, fear of insecurity in schools or outright abuse and assault from family members or strangers.
“This is why I am here today to seek your support and counsel in ensuring that all young children are enrolled in schools and retained with the assurance of completing their studies to gaining sufficient education and skills for life-long empowerment,” she said.
She said that the Ekiti State government is blessed to enjoy the support of the World Bank, especially to improve secondary education opportunities among adolescents (boys and girls).
Besides, she highlighted some of the things that would be achieved in the state to include using the project to improve the learning environment in existing secondary schools.
“As I speak today, all the 202 public secondary schools in Ekiti State already benefited from this support. The school-based management committees of the schools within your towns, chaired by a community leader of repute within the community implemented all these projects.
“They identified a critical project in each of the secondary schools and funds were released to the SBMC accounts so that the committee could implement identified projects.
“The funds released ranged from 8,000 U.S. dollars to 16,000 U.S. dollars per school, depending on the enrolment figure of the school. The schools that had 250 students and below, got 8,000 dollars, (naira equivalent) while schools with more than 400 students got 16,000 dollars (naira equivalent),” she said.
She, however, appealed to the royal fathers to ensure the projects are properly executed in the communities.
“It is important to state that schools/communities, which did not use the funds advanced to them judiciously, will not be able to participate in future support.”
According to her, the World Bank-supported AGILE programme is also bringing “safe spaces” to senior secondary schools to ensure that girls have the opportunity to gain life skills before they leave secondary school.
“They will also be taught hygiene, menstrual health, and vocational skills, among others. Councillors and coaches will be available to mentor them on building confidence and life skills. Please let our girls come to school and be retained in school to gain these benefits.
“This project is also bringing digital education closer to teachers and students alike in our secondary schools. This will be done in phases, the first set of one (100) hundred schools will benefit now,” she said.