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FG seeks collaboration with development partners to improve girl-child education

THE Federal Government has solicited for more collaboration with development partners to improve girl-child education in Nigeria.

Mrs Anne Okonkwo, Director, Basic and Secondary Education, Federal Ministry of Education, made the call on Tuesday in Abuja at an event to mark the 2016 International Day of the Girl-Child.

The event with the theme: “Girls Progress Equals Goals Progress, a global girl data movement’’ was organised by UNICEF in collaboration with Civil Society Action Coalition on Education for All and National Centre for Women Development.

Okonkwo, who was represented by Mrs Loretta Ogbobilea, Deputy Director in the ministry, said that such collaboration would ensure harmonisation of intervention programmes and enhance development.

“I urge development partners’ and Non-Governmental Organisations, who are involved in alleviating the plights of the girl-child in Nigeria to collaborate with the ministry to harmonise all the interventions with regards to girl-child education in Nigeria.

“The FG through the ministry has been working assiduously to ensure that every Nigerian child, particularly girls, have access to basic education, retention, completion and transition to higher educational levels,’’ she said.

The director said the ministry had been partnering with UNICEF since 2003 to promote girls education through its Strategies for the Acceleration of Girls Education in Nigeria programme.

Okonwko expressed hope that the theme of the event would stimulate enthusiasm among stakeholder across the globe to invest more on girls in all areas of life.

She explained that such investment would enable the girl-child harness her talent for sustainable living and contribute to national development.

Prof. Abba Haladu, Executive Secretary, National Commission for Mass Literacy (NMEC), urged stakeholders to come together to highlight, discuss and take action to advance rights and opportunities for girls in the society.

He said that the day was meant to promote human rights of girls, highlight gender inequalities between boys and girls and address the various forms of discrimination and abuse suffered by girls.

“It is necessary for us the stakeholders to build a consensus on the need to pay more attention to girls as a way of closing gender gaps in education.

“Girls need to be empowered to lead campaign for themselves by themselves.

“Therefore we need to begin to build future leaders in them by empowering them with information and knowledge that will create self confidence in them,’’ he said.

Haladu said that the commission had keyed into the Girl-for-Girl initiative of UNICEF which would assist in the fight against illiteracy in Nigeria.