(Members of NYSC)
United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) on Tuesday said, girls’ education goes beyond getting girls into schools, but entails ensuring they learn and feel safe while in school; complete all levels of education with the skills to effectively compete in the labor market.
Chief, UNICEF Kaduna Field Office, Dr Zakari Adam, who stated this while welcoming members of the High Level Women Advocates (HILWA) in Northern Nigeria during their annual meeting in Kaduna said, all hands must be on deck to make that happen.
HiLWA, is UNICEF Nigeria intervention project, currently in fourteen states and funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID), it is a group of high level influential women advocates in their various state
According to him. “girls’ education goes beyond getting girls into school. It is also about ensuring that girls learn and feel safe while in school; complete all levels of education with the skills to effectively compete in the labor market.
“To learn the socio-emotional and life skills necessary to navigate and adapt to a changing world; make decisions about their own lives; and contribute to their communities and the world.” He said.
“My expectations are that you will review progress and achievements and draw up action plans that will demonstrate your collective desire to provide quality leadership and drive that will improve, access, quality and opportunities for girls and young people to quality education.
“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, UNICEF Abuja Education Specialist, Mrs. Azuka Menkiti said, among the four key objectives of the group was to promote girls’ education – to ensure that every girl in their state is able to access her right in education.
“The second one is to ensure their security and safety within the school. What they are also working on is to ensure there are more female teachers in the schools, more females employed as headteachers, more females employed as education secretaries, more females directors in education agencies.
“We are interested in women coming to this level of leadership in the education agencies because we have come to recognized that female teachers are the best teachers children can have.
“We have also conduct research to confirm the impact of female teachers on learning outcomes for children, for both boys and girls and even the enrollment and retention of girls in schools, and it has proven there is high correlation of female teachers and high enrollment of children, especially girls.” She said.
Participant from Adamawa, Bauchi, Gombe, Jigawa, Kebbi, Katsina, Kano, Niger, Plateau, Sokoto, Yobe and Zamfara are currently attending the two-day meeting in Kaduna.