Sylvanus Viashima, Jalingo
The Galadima of Muri in Taraba State, Alhaji Tukur Abba Tukur recently advocated for a law that would make completion of secondary education a basic prerequisite for marriage by a girl child in Nigeria.
Turkur made the call in Jalingo when the State Universal Basic Education Board in collaboration with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) led 100 youths they trained on safe and quality education for every child to his palace on a courtesy visit.
The monarch noted that when enacted, such a law would help in tackling child marriage which is inimical to the women’s health and development in the country.
According to him, this would be possible if government at all levels make primary and secondary education free and compulsory for all Nigerian children.
“Government should endeavour to declare primary and secondary education in the country free and compulsory, especially for the girl child,” he said.
He called for stiffer penalty for teachers and university lecturers who harass female students sexually so that it would encourage the parents to send their female children to school without the fear that they would be molested.
“It is only when parents are given the confidence that their female children are in safe hands while in schools that they would willingly enrol them in schools,” he noted.
Leader of the team, Mrs. Kerkebe Ibrahim told the Galadima that they were in his palace to seek his support for a safe and quality education for all children, especially the girl child.
Ibrahim explained that 100 youths in the state had undergone training for three days on safe and quality education to help in carrying out advocacy to ensure success.
Taraba state has a high number of out of school children, most of them girls, who hawk wares at beer parlours and other public places even during school hours and this current move by SUBEB and UNICEF is expected to help in addressing the situation to a large extent.