The Education Officer, UNICEF, Kaduna State, Mr. Francis Elisha, said this in Kaduna at a stakeholders’ dialogue to develop advocacy strategies and influencing plans to promote
girl-child education in the state.
The National Daily reports that the meeting was organized by the Kaduna Basic Education Mechanism (KADBEAM) in collaboration with Partnership to Engage, Reform, and Learn (PERL).
Elisha said that UNICEF was already supporting the state government in different sectors to provide women and children with opportunities to achieve their potential.
He said that educating a girl-child was a critical step toward improving the wellbeing and livelihood of children and households, which would in turn impact positively on the community and the nation at large.
According to him, providing access to inclusive and quality education for children is a responsibility of all, adding that UNICEF will support any initiative targeted to ensure the development of a child.
“We have not done much in the area of education in Kaduna State in the past like we were doing in other states, and we have decided to partner with relevant stakeholders to support the sector.
“We have recently decided to make the state one of our priority states for various interventions in the education sector.
“We will link up with critical stakeholders, particularly the community structures; mobilizers and influencers for a robust engagement on how to ensure all children are in school and learning.”
Elisha commanded KADBEAM and PERL for the initiative, describing it as “crucial” to engender community-led advocacy to promote girl-child education at the community level.
He pointed out that the current enrolment of the girl-child in public primary and junior secondary schools was 48 percent compared with the boys at 52 percent.
According to him, achieving 50/50 percent enrolment for boys and girls is a huge task, stressing that more commitment from all stakeholders is needed to bridge the two percent gap.
Mrs. Bahijjatu Garko, the UNFPA Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health and Youth Development Officer, also expressed UNFPA’s commitment to partner with relevant stakeholders to promote girl-child education.
Garko said that UNFPA’s mission was “to deliver a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled.
“We cannot achieve this without empowering the girl-child with the needed education to make the right sexual and reproductive health choices.”
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