The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) on Tuesday, says that girl child education is beyond getting girls into schools.
Dr Zakari Adam, Chief of Field Office, UNICEF Kaduna stated this at a two-day meeting of High-Level Women Advocates (HILWA) in Northern Nigeria, holding in Kaduna.
HILWA is UNICEF’s Nigeria intervention project, currently in 14 states, funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) to advocate for women education and empowerment in their respective state.
According to him, it is not enough to get the girl child to school, but ensure that the girls are safe, learn and complete all levels of education to live a quality life.
“The girls also need to learn socio-emotional and life skills, necessary to navigate and adapt to the changing world, make decisions about their own lives and contribute to the development of their communities and the world.”
Adam explained that the meeting was organised for the women to review progress, challenges and draw action plans that would improve access to opportunities and quality education for girls and young people.
He urged the women to continue to enhance girls’ access to quality education and increase women participation in decision making at different levels of authority, governance and management in their states.
“I am particularly excited about this meeting because of the caliber of women present here who from all intent and purposes are committed to promoting girl’s education especially in Northern Nigeria.
“I have no doubt in my mind that your capacities and capabilities which you have demonstrated over the years will be reinvigorated in these few days to come,” he added.
On her part, Mrs. Azuka Menkiti, Education Specialist, UNICEF Abuja, explained that the key objectives of the group were to promote girls’ education and that girls were safe and secure while in school.
“We also expect the group to ensure that more female teachers were employed with some as headteachers, education secretaries and directors in education agencies.
“This is because research has shown that female teachers had more impact on learning outcomes for both boys and girls, including enrollment and retention of girls in schools,” Menkiti said.
She added that the meeting provided an opportunity for the group to share experiences on what went well and what went wrong as well as build their capacity for better performance and develop action plan for 2019.
Participants at the meeting were from Adamawa, Bauchi, Gombe, Jigawa, Kebbi, Katsina, Kano, Niger, Plateau, Sokoto, Yobe and Zamfara states.