By Victor Osae IHIDERO, Zaria
As part of the need to ensure that girl children from Northern Nigeria go through and complete their primary and secondary school education, a Non-governmental organization, Women Connect Initiative (WCI) on Wednesday awarded scholarships to 20 girls and 3 boys as part of the celebration of the ‘Day-of-the Girl-child’.
Women Connect Initiative gave the awards in Zaria during its ‘One-day Workshop on the Prospects of Girl-child Education in Northern Nigeria’. The Coordinator of WCI, Hajiya Murjanatu Suleiman-Shika said that the place of girl children in Northern Nigeria is still been given little attention because of traditional practices and beliefs
“The girl-child embodies the nation. She is the person who grows to become a woman; the source of every nations’ continuity and production of leaders. Unfortunately, this woman, the Girl-child is under-educated.
“In the North where we are, the situation is worse. Over 1.7 million girl children in the North west are out of School. Equal opportunities are not given to the girl-child when compared to the other gender. There are more male enrolments in schools across northern Nigeria than females. As an organization, it is part of our goal to have girls educated. The scholarship awards is part of our plan to encourage hardworking female pupils and students and again, to push less performing students to strive for the best.
“We deemed it fit to also award the scholarship to 3 male children because as mothers we cannot abandon our male children. These 23 students are high performing students whose parents are finding it difficult to pay their fees”, she said.
Presenting a paper entitled: “Prospect of Girl-Child in Northern Nigeria”, Jamila Aliyu-Mohammed of Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) described the day as very significant not only to girl-child but also to the society.
Aliyu-Mohammed, who is also the Coordinator of Prof. Aliyu Mohammed Foundation (PAMF) observed that without education hardly would a person achieve something in life.
She emphasised the adage: “When you educate a man, you educate a single person, but when you educate a woman, you educate the entire society.
“Remember, children usually come back from school with home work, who can assist the them if the wife is not educated?
“We are concentrating on gird-child in order to build an educated and enlighten society for the common good of all,” she said.
In her speech, the Principal, Unity School, Hajiya Rabi’atu Suleiman thanked the NGO for what she described as a good gesture towards societal development.
The Principal attributed the proliferation of Almajiris in Northern Nigeria to inability of some mothers to acquire western education.
“No educated woman will allow her child to about roaming the streets.
“We are happy this NGO has sponsored 20 students in this school and most of them are orphans while others are vulnerable,” she noted.
She described the girl-child as the future mother, future leader, future president, governor, chairperson and councillor.