Girl child education will enhance national development ― Mrs Akeredolu

The wife of Ondo State governor, Mrs Betty Akeredolu, on Tuesday, restated the call for the education of the girl-child in the country saying it will enhance the nation’s socio-economic development.

Mrs Akeredolu who stated this during a special programme to mark this year International day of the girl-child, described this year’s theme as apt and relevant to her pet programme for the girl child in the state, known as BEMORE girl’s project.

The Ondo State first lady who called on stakeholders to encourage girls and women empowerment in the country said it is essential for economic development and will go a long way to reduce poverty in the land.

She disclosed that about 2000 girls have been trained on ICT, Solar energy and other life-enhancing skills since inception the inception of the BEMORE programme in 2017, saying the girls have been making waves in their various fields.

According to her, “our mission is to have different women who will change the narratives. Grooming courageous girls that can face the world remains her mission. It has not been easy for the girl child in this environment but we are poised to change the narratives.

“Women are the ones to provide solutions to the challenges facing Nigeria as a country and this will come to fruition very soon, as our mission to have a different breed of women in this country is getting to fruition in our own eyes.”

Speaking on BEMORE initiatives, she said, “this is a way of exposing our girls to the world. It is a way of grooming our girls to be bold, courageous, educated and enlightened to cope with future challenges.

“You will agree with me that it is not easy for the girl-child and women in the society, hence, the need to train our girls to be able to solve their problems.”

She explained that “We decided to go for ICT because the world is going digital and Solar Technology which is at our fingertips since we can harness and get solar energy from the sun.

“There are technologies that are gender-neutral which is why I key into the vision. The expression that women cannot excel should be dumped in the dustbin of history.

She described BEMORE programme as “the single largest investment in Ondo State in the last four years. We are going to get bigger because we will keep turning out BEMORE girls yearly.

We have deployed 368 solar home systems across the 18 Local Governments, 912 laptops given out to our girls between 2017-2021. Our girls have also been taught taekwondo to protect themselves against randy men. BEMORE is here to change the narrative.”

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Mrs Lola Amuda, said the ministry had keyed into the BEMORE Girls summer programme to groom them and prepare them towards addressing future challenges.

She said the project would provide opportunities to improve access to quality and gender-responsive education for women and girls in crisis, conflict, and fragile situations.

She called on all stakeholders to encourage girl and women empowerment, noting that it is essential for economic development, growth and poverty reduction, while she advised that efforts should be geared to renew, sustain and tackle the challenges facing the girl-child in the country.

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