By Tobias Lengnan Dapam
The Minister of Women Affairs, Pauline Tallen and the convener of the Keep Girls In School Initiative (KGIS)
Dr. Mairo Mandara have advocated free and compulsory education for girls in the country.
The two prominent advocates spoke at the weekend during a march to mark the 2019 International Day of the girl child.
The march which started from Abia House to Eagle Square in Abuja, saw young girls from various schools and mothers.
Specifically, the minister said the issue of free and compulsory education for girls from primary to senior secondary school is nonnegotiable.
“We are here to make a statement to ensure free and compulsory education for girls at all levels. Our young girls must be allowed to go to school. We are also here to condemn early marriage. Girls should be given opportunities to explore and pursue their education so as be useful to themselves”.
Speaking on the Child Right Act, she said the federal government has been engaging states, saying that 24 states had domesticated the act.
“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.
“Educating the girl child is educating the nation. We are therefore appealing to our religious and traditional leaders, community leaders and parents to back this campaign to ensure that the girl child is given a space to be educated.”
On her part, convener of the KGIS Dr. Mairo Mandara said there is also need for girls to be taught market relevant skills in schools.
“We are also asking for various skills to be taught in schools so that the girls who can’t go to higher institutions can practice those skills. Some of them want to be beauticians, caterers and other skills that will help them to be usefully life.”