Day of Girl-Chid: Minister advocates compulsory secondary education

Minister for Women Affairs, Ms Dame Pauline Tallen, has made case for free compulsory education for the girl-child up to the secondary school level.

The minister also said the federal government has been engaging states over the domestication of the Child Right Act.

Tallen, who spoke, Friday in Abuja, at the commemoration of the 2019 International Day of the Girl Child, said 24 states had domesticated the act, and expressed the hope that the remaining would adopt it.

She said: “So far, 24 states have domesticated the Child Right Act and we are talking with all the state governments and the state Houses of Assembly and very soon the 36 states will key in.

“Mr President is fully committed to this cause; the girl child education is key to Mr President and this administration. We are therefore calling on leaders at different levels to support this campaign.’’

The minister also called for compulsory secondary education for all girls in the country.

 “Today is the International Day of the Girl Child worldwide. And Nigeria is out here with these girls to make a statement that we want free and compulsory education for the Girl Child at all level, from primary up to the senior secondary school.

“We are here to condemn early marriage and violence against women. If we want to have a healthy society, if we want to have a progressive and robust society, the girl child must be educated.

“Educating the girl child is educating the nation. We are therefore appeal to our religious and traditional leaders, community leaders and parent to back this campaign to ensure that the girl child is given a space to be educated,” she said.

On her part, Lead for Keeping Gilrls in School in Africa Dr Mairo Mandara said, the girls are also demanding to be taught relevant livelihood skills in schools.

She said “This match is not only taking place in Abuja, it is going on in 12 other states simultaneously across Nigeria. It is taking place in Sokoto, Kebbi, Adamawa, Kastina, Bauchi, Kaduna, Maiduguri, Zamfara,

“The girls are asking to be taught market relevant skill, skills that will make them employable after secondary school. They want to be beauticians; they want to learn how to fix mobile phones, thy want to be technicians not just teaching them how to serve food.

To mark this year’s international day of the girl child, the Universal Basic Education (UBEC) in collaboration with Girl Child Concern (GCC), World Bank, UNICEF, and other stakeholders held a ‘one million girl march’ with the theme,“ Girls Unscripted and Unstoppable,” in Abuja.

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