The Yobe State chapter of the Nigeria Association of Women Journalists, NAWOJ, May 27 enrolled 100 girls into public primary school. The girl’s mothers will equally be trained and given start-up funds through a livelihood programme.
The gesture was to mark Children’s Day, celebrated on May 27 each year in Nigeria. This year, the theme for Children’s Day celebration in Nigeria is “Protect the rights of the child in the face of violence and insecurity: End child marriage.”
Speaking at the girl’s enrolment Ceremony, Fatima Page, chairperson of NAWOJ Yobe State, said NAWOJ had put in place effective monitoring tools to ensure continuity of its Girls Education Programme.
Fatima Page said the NAWOJ Girls Education Programme was borne of the belief that“educating a girl is educating a nation and the impact is felt from all spheres of life.” She further commended the Yobe State government for the “allocation of the largest share of its budget to the education sector.”
In a press release, Ifeyinwa Omowole, NAWOJ president urged parents to “invest more in training and development of their children,” andcalled onthem to “not be carried away by developing themselves and making money to the detriment of the development of their children.”
The NAWOJ President encouraged parents to “retrace their steps and go back to doing their primary assignment: of bringing up their children in the right way.”
“As we celebrate this day, let us bring up children that will contribute to society not those who will be a burden to us and the society,” she added.
The Association also expressed dismay over increase in the rate of violence against children especially the girl child.
The Chairperson of NAWOJ, Oyo State, Foluso Lala said the increased rates of illiteracy, child mothers and child labour are due to economic hardship. She called on the Government to prioritize Child’s Rights Laws aimed at protectingchildren’s interests while resolving Nigeria’s economic problems.
She called for severe penalties on any actions or culprits that infringe on the rights of any child and the establishment of family courts in Oyo State, to further protect the rights of children.
In a statement, NAWOJ, Niger State also stressed the need for parents to strive towards providing quality education for their children, particularly the girl child instead of giving them out for early marriage.
The Chairperson Mary Noel Berje called on the government to continue to accord priority attention to the education sector and to formulate policies that will enhance the security of children across the country.
Recognized on various days in many places around the world, Children’s Day isto honor children globally. It was first proclaimed by the World Conference for the Well-being of Children in 1925 and then established universally in 1954 by the United Nations General Assembly,to protect children working long hours in dangerous circumstances and allow all children access to an education.
Universal Children’s Day takes place annually on November 20. The UN General Assembly recommended that all countries should establish a Children’s Day on an “appropriate” day. It is to encourage all countries to promote mutual exchange and understanding among children and secondly to initiate action to benefit and promote the welfare of the world’s children.
The African Union initiated June 16 as The Day of the African Child since 1991. It honors those who participated in the Soweto Uprising in 1976 on that day and also raises awareness of the continuing need for improvement of the education provided to and the plight of the African Child.
International Day for Protection of Children, observed in some European, African, Asian and Latin American countries on June 1 was established by the Women’s International Democratic Federation on its congress in Moscow (22 November 1949) to honor children and raise awareness of children’s rights. In West Africa, Benin, Cape Verde, and Guinea-Bissaucelebrate June 1.
Veronica Ogbole / Nigeria
Photograph/Source: THE PRESIDENCY NEPAD NIGERIA – Girl-Child Education