NGO Urges Action for Education of the Girl-Child in Northern Nigeria
Education of the girl-child is fundamental to the development of any society and remedy to the underdevelopment of the people of the Northern Nigeria, an Non-Governmental Organisation, Education and Health Initiative for the Girl-Child and Women (EHIGCW) has said.
The NGO, which has been working in rural areas in States of the Northern Nigeria said in the course of its interaction with the rural people, it has discovered that religious and cultural practices attributed to traditional beliefs, which seclude females from social activities, including access to qualitative education has its strong influence on the people of this region.
In a report after its sensitisation exercise with the locals at Zuidna and Toba communities in Tafa Local Government Area of Niger State, North-Central Nigeria, the NGO noted:
“More so, the permissible practice of child marriage, early/ forced marriage which has constituted many setbacks and challenges over the years, is another major problem affecting Girl-child education in Northern Nigeria.
“Over the years, this norm has created a large community of illiterate parents whose beliefs and addiction to the archaic practice remain a huge problem in ensuring that every Girl-child is given an opportunity for proper literacy and qualitative education.
“Hence, the need for a strategic and more resourceful advocacy/sensitization initiative to the communities and leaders of this region, to extensively promote Girl-child education and discourage child, early and forced marriage in any and form is necessary in order to achieve the millennium sustainable goal on the Girl-Child”
The Executive Director, EHIGCW, Chinedu Okoronkwo appealed to the government, traditional and religious institutions to make the sensitisation on the importance of the girl-child education, a priority. He also encouraged parents to enrol their girls in schools especially the out-of-school girls, stressing that, “when you educate a girl-child you are building a prosperous nation because her education ensures economic growth. She will be self-reliant and this reduces poverty, infant mortality. Educated women will be part of decision making, fight against domestic/ sexual violence and fight for their rights in general”.
The ED said the NGO aims at identifying the needs of the community with regards to education and health with respect to the Girl-child.
In their outreach at Tafa, the Head-Chief of Zuidna and Toba HRH yakubu Diko and HRH James Shimdasna took turn to express their profound gratitude to the organization for this kind gesture and appreciated our coming. They promised to be foot-soldiers of the organization by passing the message to their subjects.
EHIGCW provided some relief-materials to the community representatives and the villagers who participated the sensitisation exercise.