Ekiti State government has reiterated its commitment on girl child education, which has remained a potent tool for social transformation and sustainable development.
This was made known by Olayemi Oyebanji, wife of the State Governor, who was represented by Mary Adedokun, a professor, at the special education forum organised by Balm in Gilead Foundation for Sustainable Development in Ado Ekiti (BIGIF).
Olayemi, while presenting a paper on factors limiting girl child education in Ekiti, stressed the importance of educating both the male and female children which could not be overemphasized in the community.
The First Lady explained that the state government is interested in the education that will be universal, affordable and accessible to the marginalised groups and physically challenged male and female children that will produce the best human resource for development purpose.
She echoed that all hands must be on deck to ensure that the goal education for all is well achieved.
In her contributions as a panelist, Folakemi Olomojobi, permanent secretary, Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, who was represented by Modupe Adebayo, director of evaluation in the ministry, explained that some girl child have poverty mentality where government has been qssisting the parents in the payment of school fees, WAEC & JAMB fees, provision of laptops and textbooks in core subjects.
Michael Omolayo, another panelist, and permanent secretary, Teaching Service Commission (TESCOM), listed some of the factors limiting education for girl child which included; economic factors, parental background, differential value system placed on education by the
parents, location which are outside the control of the girl child, fear of insecurity, amongst others.
Omolayo explained that parents are student’s first teachers to provide home training,hence the need to provide basic needs (food,clothing and shelter) and learning materials ( where necessary) to complement government free and compulsory education policy.
He advocated for increase in public enlightenment,volunteer groups, philanthropists, NGOs and Stakeholders involvement to provide helplines for indigent and vulnerable children(male and female) for inclusive education.
He stressed that educating girl child will bring about educated and
prosperous society at large.
Sola Adeluyi, permanent secretary Ministry of Women Affairs and Social
Development, who was represented by Tolu Ogunniyi, assistant director, child department, said that culture,
stereotype, predators, early forced marriage are some of the limitations of a girl child which can be corrected by changing of beliefs and having enlightenment programmes.
He stressed that government has created vocational centres for women and survivors for empowerment and also giant stride in the provision of sanitary pads for girls hygiene.
The executive director of Initiative for sound education, relationship and Health (ISERH), Donald Abayomi, who was the last panelist, emphasised that some girl child have some fake beliefs about
education and are ignorant of the importance of education.
He advised that catching children young goes a long way in molding them and as well accord the society an ease of life through societal re-orientation.
Earlier in her remarks the Project Coordinator of AGILE, Yewande Adesua, disclosed that the project would run for five years, which is aimed at safe, conducive learning environment in schools for students.
Also in bringing up children with the skills to navigate through life and giving the girl child a voice.
In her welcome address Tumininu Adedeji, executive director, BIGIF, said that the programme focussed on discussing norms,practices of a girl child and building a better future for them, accessing quality education amongst others.
She noted that developing communication strategy in addressing the challenges highlighted and valuable insight were the key factors.